Perspective: Demand and Supply
Labouradda is not only a business innovation aimed at making market profits, it is more of a setup driven by the plight of a daily wage labourer and is designed to eradicate their basic survival predicaments.
During our extensive field work, enthused by a simple idea of doing something for this section of our society, we came across thousands of people-these daily wagers and got well versed with their situation. We came to know that we were not the first ones to talk to them about their misery; they had people, NGOs, government-come to them and talk about shelter, identity, food and monetary respite from their ‘contractors ’- and put them into words.
It was then that we understood that we had a novel ‘will’ and ‘drive’ to do something to help them earn better and establish a continuous symmetry of work. We were determined to not let our understanding be limited to just paper and words. It is from there- the grass root level- that Labouradda started taking shape.
One day during our regular field visit to a labour chowk in Ahmadabad, we came across a daily wager of frail frame, sitting in a corner of a tea stall. When we asked the stall owner about him, he told us that that labourer wanted to go back to his village, but the contractor under whom he used to work had held back his month’s pay and had refused to give him work. Because he is completely dependent on what he earns everyday he was left with zero penny and had to food to eat, no place to sleep let alone travel to his village or send his family money. The stall owner had taken mercy on him and was feeding him for free.
In another instance, we came across some labourers who were picked from the labour chowk for a work- but upon reaching the site, they learned that they were not skilled enough for the job and had to return back. However, because they didn’t have money and were dependent on what they would have been paid for the ‘job’ they couldn’t get back to the labour chowk on time. This led to an unproductive day and they had absolutely no money to even eat let alone save money to send back home.
Another prominent problem that we came across was of not having a regular flow of work, i.e. getting 12 days of work in a month was eminent among the chowk labourers. They are hopelessly dependent on their ‘daily wages’ and it is directly proportional to them finding food and shelter for a day. They are day to day life is marred by the vivacious circle of the chowk timing and schedule and bidding for work.
Stories and issues like these put life into the being of LabourAdda. Questions like why should a labourer starve and depend on a contractor to earn his daily livelihood? Why shouldn’t there be an organised platform where they get hand to hand pay, get work on a regular basis- round the clock? Why should they be left on footpaths despite of being hard working labourers? Why even after struggling on a daily basis their families be deprived of money back home and culminate as stories of dashed hope?
Why customers? During our test run of Labouradda, we went door to door with a few unskilled labourers who were verified, trained under our guidelines (for the test run purpose only) at a fixed hourly rate. We asked customers if they wanted their chores including house deep cleaning, terrace maintenance to be done by labourers for a minimum of 100 rupees per hour without having to assist them or worry about their identity. The end result was satisfied customers who were wowed by how simple a hectic task of hiring a worker for their requirements was made because of our design.
What we concluded post our test run was that the chowk dynamics is not only a problem for the daily wagers but also for the customers. They needed a reliable platform where they could simply state their requirement and get verified and trusted man power at a fixed rate round the clock.
We at Labouradda, took note of these predicaments and vouched to provide a design platform wherein, these labourers are directed together as the biggest workforce and manpower bank to benefit both- the daily wagers and the customers. Our app builds the much the bridge for the customers to hire labourers for their specified requirement and for labourers to get direct and regular leads of work and freedom from the torments of contractors and handlers. Our in-depth and grass-root level understanding of both the ends and our digital solution design course is what makes Labouradda a prerequisite for the society and its systematic development.