ALICE ADVANCED SEMINAR #3 - Sharit Bhowmik
2013-07-30

Title/Título: Confronting Marginalisation of Urban Informal Workers Speaker(s)/Oradore(s): Sharit Bhowmik (Centre for Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences - Mumbai) Date/Data: 11 de junho de 2013, 10h30, Venue/Local: Sala 1, CES-Coimbra Summary How democratic political action, can in some way, change the existing situation of marginalization of urban informal workers in India? The speaker has been working on this issue, as a researcher and as an activist, and has taken an initiative to motivate women slum- dwellers to form their own union so that they can solve their problems in a collective manner. The seminar will focus on the examples of street vendors, who through their concerted efforts and a coordinated national movement have been able to influence the State to provide legal protection for them. Other cases that will be discussed are on home-based workers, who are the most exploited section of informal workers in urban India. Most of their work is linked with the international economy but it's difficult for them to challenge this hierarchy of the global value chain. The State does not take into account 'their' contribution to the economy nor does it provide any protection to them, in terms of regulation of income and social protection. However, some successful cases will be presented. The bottom-line is that a democratic collective movement can help in easing their problems and it will also make them more confident of their own capabilities. Biography Sharit K. Bhowmik is Professor and Chairperson, Centre for Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. He has conducted in research on different sections of the informal economy, including street vendors and home-based workers. His recent publications are: Street Vendors in the Global Urban Economy (Routledge) and Financial inclusion of the Marginalised: A Study of Street Vendors (Springer). (Video in English / Vídeo em Inglês)

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