Himachal chain

Published : Sep 21, 2012 00:00 IST

JOGINDER SINGH is a Dalit construction worker from Katihar district, Bihar. Frontline met him at Jogbani railway station, situated on the India-Nepal border, in Bihar. He was with a group of 10 people who were going to Himachal Pradesh.

He said: Mostly Dalits migrate from Bihar. We are landless; there is nothing in Bihar that can earn us food. I am a construction worker, but there is not enough work to feed my family for a whole year. I have been going to Una in Himachal Pradesh for the last five years. Agricultural workers who used to migrate to Punjab learnt about pipeline work in H.P. They tried it out and it turned out to be better in terms of wages than agricultural labour. So I also started to go. When our group reaches there, the group that was working there for two months returns. When another group comes, we will go back home.

The H.P. government gives the pipeline work to contractors and they hire us. We get Rs.50 to Rs.100 for laying one foot of pipeline. In one day, we can lay around 10 to 15 feet of pipeline. The contractor gives us one meal a day and a place to stay. The other meal is cooked by one of us.

Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta
Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment