Bricks is one of the primary building materials known to the mankind. The fundamentals of brick manufacturing have not changed over time. However, technological advancements have made contemporary brick plants substantially more efficient and have improved the overall quality of the products. A more complete knowledge of raw materials and their properties, are well known by the common man of this country which all together provides more advanced mechanization that contribute to advancing the brick industry.
At least 10 million labourers in India are employed in the organised brick kiln industry, working under hygienic conditions. Usually, an entire family is involved in brick production and they get Rupees 400-500 for 1,000 bricks. Although the industry provides employment to a large number of people. The labourers are generally given payments in advance. Besides posture-related problems, the labourers have difficulty breathing as they are more exposed to dust. The remuneration of hard work usually goes to the family whereas the workers are given the nominal amount on a day basis to make their daily living. I happened to meet a family who worked in the brick factory and got to know the routine and life they live while working in the factory for 6 months in a go. They are mostly invited from outside cities and towns so that the production can be done is full swing all day n night.
The family came all the way from Chhattisgarh to fill in the gap for this season and earn their living. They informed that they are less paid for the same work in their city hence they are forced to navigate in search of work to earn their living, as they are normal farmers which grow crops for 6 months and then work on brick factories for the rest 6 months. They added, while the production month there are almost 200-300 workers working which gets around 250 rupees/per person and 500 rupees/season. Also they are provided with a place to live and medical help as well. However they have to cook their own food. Mostly the production is stopped between June till august as these are the months of high temperature which makes the condition more violent to work.
Maharati and his wife Mahetereen with their 4 kids used to work in the factory and informed me about all the above details. Their life is tough, however this is the only way they can earn their living and feed their children, and their children studied in a government schools where they are given basic education. They seem to be happy as they enjoy working there and in their free time they enjoy the basic pursuits of life, like playing cricket and hovering in their phones. And usually they have no choice but to eat rice which is the foremost grown crop in Chhattisgarh. The six-month season is now beginning when tens of thousands of fa
milies travelling, mostly from different states to work in the brick kilns.