Threads of Hope: Stories from a maggam embroidery market in Hyderabad

Nishant Kharkwal

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Workers creating maggam designs

Moving his hands swiftly and neatly on a fine piece of cloth is an art that Jitendra learnt in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh.  These fine works of maggam have made by none other than the traditional weaving class of Uttar Pradesh. In Lucknow, this embroidery work is known as Zari and Maggam is the Telugu name for it.  This street near the Ameerpet Metro Station is situated behind the South Indian Shopping Mall. Although it may look like just other ordinary streets of Hyderabad, entering it, is a world in itself. This street is different from the IT sector in Ameerpet, the larger subset of its identity. This street in itself is a hidden reservoir of treasures, talents and opportunities.

Mohammad, also from Barabanki, learnt the trade skills from zari workshops in Lucknow. Both Mohammad and Jitendra arrived in Hyderabad just six months ago searching for good  prospects and higher wages. Hyderabad provided better avenues for them to earn a decent profit. In their hometown, they got only Rs 300 per day for working for 13 to 14 hours a day. On the other hand, Hyderabad provides them with a payment of Rs 600 to Rs 800 for 8 hours of work.

Mohammad says that he has been working in this profession from 13 to 14 years and was taught Urdu Studies at a Madrasa. In the past, he wanted to study further but took up a job due to family responsibilities. He lives alone in a small room far away from his family. He misses home and wants to bring them here. Currently, Mohammed is in his early 30s and wants to move on from just being a maggam worker. He hopes to open an embroidery shop in the next one to two years in Hyderabad.

There are a lot of maggam shops in the area, and one can spot a few even on the first and second floors of some buildings. The buildings in the street are mostly in mixed-use land. Commercial activities are mostly confined to the ground and first floor while the upper floors are for residential purposes. The boards and hoardings of maggam shops, like Sana Maggam Works with props hanging outside the windows of the first, second and even third floors show the popularity of the maggam.

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The Ecosystem around Bhagyalaxmi Cloth Material

Maggam is not just a story of embroidery but an ecosystem that Ameerpet created within itself. There are many allied works associated with maggam, and it is only a part of the symbiosis of the street. This symbiosis dates back to the oldest cloth and embroidery material shop in the area, Bhagyalaxmi Cloth Materials. Introducing this store caused catalytic sprouting of tailoring shops apart from other embroidery stores. This chain reaction further provided fertile grounds for maggam and also for other different types of cloth merchants. On one occasion we witnessed men sharpening their knives and scissors in the locality which further adds an activity in this diverse ecosystem.

At Bhagyalaxmi Cloth Materials, Bharti seems confident and calm while displaying the embroidery material to a customer. She instinctively knows the best colour that will suit a customer. When we approached her for an interview, she looked excited but remembered that she also has a customer to cater. Daughter of a farmer, Bharti, 26, has worked in the shop for five years. She is unmarried and has completed her middle-schooling. Uninterested in pursuing further studies, she wants to provide support to her family in Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh. Currently, she stays in a hostel and gets a monthly salary of 8000 rupees. She added that she also gets paid for overtime and Sundays. Out of this amount, she supports the education of her elder brother and younger sister while also contributing to the family income.

The shop remains open from 10 am to 8 pm. Being the oldest textile store in the area, it contributes massively to the income of local embroidery stores. This makes Bhagyalakshmi Cloth Material a quintessential component of the ecosystem surrounding it. When asked if she felt satisfied with the safety and environment of the street, she responded with a smile stating that “she is ok with the environment and workplace”. Behind her, the shop owner’s 5-year-old son sits on the master chair whenever the owner is absent. Either he was overconfident on Bharti’s trustworthiness, or the child was placed to surveil her actions.  

 

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A to Z Alteration Shop: the mystery component

Lying adjacent to the metro is a tiny corner street shop called A to Z Alterations. At first glance, it appears to be like any non-descript tailoring shop with piles of clothes hanging from its fringes and a radio occasionally playing a melody or two. Observing this social setting left me pleasantly surprised. Set up using discarded materials, like old paan shop’s set up and old telephone exchange box. Mr S K Ahmed utilized most of the space he could. When asked why he opted for alterations instead of tailoring he replied “Yahan footpath mein karobar accha he. Garib bhi aata he aur Ameer bhi ata he. Apna kaam chal jata he” (On the footpath the business is good. Both rich and poor come here and my business works easily). He said that he found this business more profitable than both tailoring and maggam. According to him, many need alterations, so it is a reliable work. We were quite impressed with his visiting card and website.

Further in the street, there are many shops catering to embroidery, tailoring, boutiques and beauty parlours. Maggam has also provided a good market for these businesses. Due to the versatility of this ecosystem, there is no loss incurred between customers at beauty parlours, textiles and jewellery stores. A large female demographic visit the numerous beauty parlours and maggam textiles, creating a busy neighbourhood and ample work opportunities of work for the youth. 

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Street in Ameerpet behind the South Indian Shopping Mall

This street, feels like a city within itself, supported by the abundant ecosystem of hostels (especially for girls), multiple tailoring and maggam stores, surrounding food and fruit stalls, messes, general stores, lock makers, and various other service providers adding to job opportunities for the youth.


To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

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MUPG Graduate Student Series (2017-2019): Arunav Chowdhury

Batch of 2017-2019

Highlights of the Interview

In this brief 4-part series, a few of our recent graduates of the Masters of Urban Policy and Governance (MUPG) Program share with us their experiences, insights, and remarks about the program. The interview will gauge with field experiences, resources available at the department, the Winter Institute Series, and, in general, the activities of the Centre.

The MUPG is a 2-year intensive program which combines perspectives and insights from a range of disciplines to enable students to re-imagine the urban, especially in the context of the globalising present. The programme aims to equip its graduates to intervene effectively on urban habitat issues through their work in public, private, and civil society organisations.

*Note: The thoughts shared here are personal to each student and not of the department. 


To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/

 

The Leading Cast of a Flower Market

By Sohail Marakkar

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Scenes from Moazzam Jahi Fruit and Flower Market

In the suburb of the busy city of Hyderabad exists a huge flower market which caters to the needs of the whole city. The first flower market in Hyderabad was Moazzam Jahi Fruit and Flower Market situated in Jambagh of Hyderabad, which came into existence during the rule of Nizam in 1935. In 2009, because of space constraints, the market was shifted to a suburb called Mehadipatnam. Today, it is popularly known as the Gudimalkapur Flower Market. Since flower is a commodity people need every day, be it for any programmes like death, birth, prayer, marriage, this flower market never has an off day, and is open all year round. The flowers come here from Maharashtra and Karnataka. We can also see various varieties of locally produced flowers which mainly come from villages of Moinabad and Shamshabad in the Telangana district. The exotic flowers which are being used for the decoration purposes come mainly from Bangalore. There are more than 200 flower shops working actively in this market. In addition to the main market, there are free spaces for direct sale, exclusively meant for small-scale farmers.

This is the basic setup of flower shops in the market. Three or four shops with names can be seen in the picture above, and each shop is given a shop number. The flowers are sold in front of the shop on a platform built for this sole purpose. The shop owners make extra revenue apart from the commission they receive from big farmers by allowing other small-scale sellers to sell their produces in front of the open space between the platform and the walkway. The sellers give the shopowners a monthly rent for letting them sell their produces in front of their shops.

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Ganesh Narayan preparing garlands for pujas and prayer offerings.

Ganesh Narayan is a migrant worker who works for a flower shopowner. He comes from a family of five in a remote district in Bihar. He has basic elementary education, and he came to Hyderabad looking for a job to support his family. He specialises in making garlands especially for the purpose of pujas and prayer offerings. He is doing the same thing for the past five years. Labourers with some skills get more salary compared to others. This is because those labourers can move to other shops seeking a better salary, so the shop owners give more salary to make them stay. Ganesh gets a salary of approximately 600 per day because he is skilled.  He is among the highest paid workers in the market.

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Padhi Rao with his special pure-bred roses

Paidi Rao is a small-scale farmer from the Moinabad district of Telangana. He cultivates roses in his fields. He says, that the rose that he cultivates is a pure breed of rose, unlike the hybrid breeds that are used for decoration purposes. He doesn’t have to give rent or anything to anyone. Since he is selling only roses he is considered as a small-scale farmer and he is allowed to sell his produce in the open space given for small-scale farmers.

 

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Raja Rao, a native of Andhra Pradesh, selling tender coconut water to the workers, owners and customers of Gudimalkapur flower market. He is a familiar face among the people of flower market. He collects the tender coconut from the coconut fields nearby and sells it at a rate of Rs 20. He came here a decade ago seeking a white collar job as some of his neighbours in his village told him Hyderabad is a good place to get a good job. But he says, fate is against him and he had to sell tender coconut to the people of flower market.

In this market, a lot of flowers get wasted every single day. The waste or rotten flowers are dumped in a dump yard near the market. The government officials have given the contract to some agencies to get rid of these wastes. The waste cleaning happens at midnight. As soon as the flowers get dumped in the yard there are people who come and collect the best flowers from the lot. They sell these waste second-quality flowers in the retail market outside the main market. These kids in the picture above are helping their mothers collect flowers from the dump yard. They will help them sell these outside the market at a rate lower than the rate inside the market. 

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Children often rummage through waste to sell second-quality flowers outside the market.

These ladies (in the photo below) collect good flowers from the dump yard and sell it near the bus stop in Mehadipatanam. First, they worked in the Moazzam Jahi Market. They have seen both the past and present markets which cater to the flower necessities of Hyderabad city. They follow a strict schedule every single day. They will come in the morning, start collecting waste flowers from dump yards and flower mandis. Since they are known to almost all shop owners in the market, they even provide them with flowers for free.

 

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These cheerful ladies sell second-quality flowers outside the market.

Almost 50 per cent of the workers in this market are migrant labourers who come from Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal. Most of the flowers that come to this market are also from different states, because of which we can see a lot of farmers from different places. Most of the labourers in the market are men, women labourers are nowhere to be seen as shop owners consider this as a “man’s job”. There are also various other type of workers who are engaged in the day to day activities of the market. There are various food shops which sells dosas and refreshments. There are security officers appointed by the government, and there is a special management team appointed to look after the everyday logistics and activities inside the market.

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A shop owner looks over Moazzam Flower and Fruit Market.

The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

Unfailing Friendships in an Uncertain City

By Simran Pal Kaur

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Ravi (above) looking at his phone and Bhanu (below) looking out for customers.

If there are certain things that we genuinely care about in this world, aren’t most of them about human relationships? Our relationships are constantly shaped by our work space. It turns into an ‹‹environment where people begin to gain better understanding of their work and themselves.  I had these realizations after interviewing Bhanu and Ravi who are fruit sellers in Gudimalkapur market in Mehdipatnam, Hyderabad.

Gudimalkapur is a scintillating place and it is made so by its people. The area is known for its wholesale vegetable, fruits and flower market and the Jhamsing Venkateshwara temple. Gudimalkapur is also one of the oldest places in Hyderabad. This place never seems to rest. There’s always hustle bustle of buyers and vendors. Most of the sellers/vendors are migrants primarily from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar.

Six years ago, Bhanu, 28, travelled from Bidar in Karnataka, to Hyderabad. He initially had a hard time adjusting in the city. He had some friends but didn’t feel like he could rely on them. He missed his family and village. This newness was unsettling. “It’s very different to live in a city and it doesn’t feel good in the beginning.”  In the city there were new expectations, new conversations, new desires and new hopes which were difficult to comprehend.

Amidst this frenzy, came Ravi. He is from Nanded, Maharashtra. He too was new to the city and came just five months after Ravi. Ravi is 25 and coincidentally happened to have his fruit stall set next to Bhanu’s. Since that day the story of their bond and companionship started. Ravi was new to the place and Bhanu understood the turmoil behind shifting to a new place for the first time. Bhanu helped Ravi to settle in. “I know it’s hard to adjust in the beginning, that is why I started helping out bit by bit,” said Bhanu. They began to become more comfortable in the market and especially in this city.

The place where they reside is close to each other’s. They have their meals together and they share their family stories. Over five years they’ve come to know each other well. “We’ve become good friends now”, said Ravi, smilingly. When they go to their homes for a break they keep in touch over phone. They said that they do disagree about certain things and have arguments but never for too long.

Overtime Bhanu and Ravi started having the same group of friends. Jokes on their customers were also a common thing. Both of them said that over years they’ve seen the market change and expand. You can keep looking at things and people around if you don’t have much sales taking place on a day.

Ravi said that if he feels hungry untimely, he eats some of his own fruits. They both sell seasonal fruits. They often take their tea and bidi break together.  Barely any conversation takes place during this break.  

When I asked about what if they part ways someday. Ravi said, “Someday I might have to leave for some work but we have phones so we can talk”. “If possible, we’ll meet again”, added Ravi.  Ravi said that he doesn’t know what destiny has in store for him. He wants to earn some more money to be able to support his sister’s higher education. She is in 12th grade right now. His parents are farmers in his village. If ever he has to leave his work, he will go back to his place and help his parents in farming. He says that the biggest service in this world is to do something for one’s parents.

Bhanu, on the other hand says that he would choose to not go back. “There’s no point in going back home.” If ever he has to leave this work, he’d try to join some other work in the city itself. “It’s important to keep working”.  He’ll try to improve his speaking skills and find work in shopping malls or at eateries as food delivery person. He says he has accepted the city as it is. The city will keep changing but Bhanu will also keep adapting.

My conversation with them, made me think about how this market place has shaped their relation. A little act of kindness in workspaces, both formal and informal, help shape relationships that bring more comfort and makes one feel more accepted in that space.  Building networks has also become important to strike at the opportunities which helps them to survive in an environment, away from their home. Even though it is hard to say how long one will continue to work in the market, yet network and relationship building becomes essential to maneuver ones way through a new and tough place. Sometimes, relations are developed intentionally as a strategy to get some worth out of it and sometimes, relations just originate very organically, like Bhanu and Ravi’s companionship. There is a wide range of relations to observe in the market. There is a formal relation among the supplier and the vendors and the authority that gives permit to set the vending stall and on the other side are informal relations that emerge in the setup of a marketplace with co-workers or customers.

For me, their story of companionship is beautiful. They laugh and share often. They have become the support system of each other in this city which is no more new to them. I don’t know how long their bond will go on for. But for the days gone by so far, they have been home for one another. This is just one of the stories of companionship I closely came to know about, there would be so many of them in the market.


The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

The Informal Shops of Hyderabad’s IT Hub

By Digith Mathews

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The lanes of Ameerpet sustain a range of livelihoods — from coaching centres to street food vendors etc.

When I first entered a street leading to Ameerpet, I noticed shops selling tender coconuts. The previous day had been tough, so only after some refreshing coconut water, I started observing the street. Ameerpet is known for its IT training institutes and various coaching centers which cater to dreams of many youths who want to learn new softwares that may help them find jobs abroad. Ameerpet is thus also nicknamed as “the gateway”. I braced myself for various training institutes and students on this street, but it was not what caught my attention.

Siamese Quadruplet Building

I first noticed a large building. This building had four sections, with two floors each. It looked like non-identical Siamese quadruplets who were similar in height but different in characteristics and souls, and yet closely attached to each other. For example, one had big eyes (large windows) while others had tiny eyes (small windows). The second quadruplet liked accessories over the body (metal circular staircase) while the others did not fancy it that much. Each section of this building had different types of commercial shops. The first section had the coconut shop I quenched my thirst at, a computer center and a graphic design center. The second section has two ladies tailoring shops and an astrologer’s consultation center. The third section was more residential in nature. The fourth section consisted of a boutique, a photo studio and a small ladies’ hostel. The first of the quadruplets seemed like the captain of a team since it had a captain’s cap (a small cabin) on its head. And under this leadership the quadruplets co-existed peacefully with all the differences they may have.

Mohammad Ullah’s Electrical Repair Shop

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Mohammad Ullah, 40, runs a small, makeshift shop despite his training at the Industrial Training Institute

A little further, on the other side of the street, there was a small makeshift cabin placed in the gap between the building and the road with the board that read ‘A.R.K Electricals – All Kind of Electrical Maintenance including Device installations, Inverters & U.P.S’. In front of the cabin, there was a table placed with lots of wires and electrical appliances. In between, sat a man dedicatedly repairing the appliances. This cabin was right in front of an inverter battery shop and out of curiosity I asked him whether the business was good as the shop was in front of the battery shop that already provided the installation services. “Garib log yahaan aathe hey…. Kabhi kabhi amir bhi…(poor people comes here…and sometimes rich people too..)”, he said. Mohammad Ullah, 40, has been trained at the Industrial Training Institute which provides skill-based training, and the Society for Employment Promotion and Training in Twin Cities (SETWIN), an organization run by the Telangana Government which offers training in Technical, Computer, Management courses for nominal fees. He has also been employed in the Gulf. “Hyderabad aake sab kharab ho gaya hai, roz kisi ki shaadi hai, kisi  ka walima toh kisi ki tatfeen..bahut kamarehte, waha Gulf main bas khate, kamate aur sote..” (“Returning to Hyderabad made things worse, daily I was dealing with someone’s marriage or someone else’s burial…it is hectic… but in the Gulf, I was only eating, working and sleeping…”). During the interaction, when I asked him about his dreams, with a smile he said “khwaabon ka kyahai, aaj jo hai, kal who nahi” (what are dreams, today’s dreams don’t exist tomorrow). The shelves in the cabin contained various repairing tools and parts which were neatly boxed. However, the money he made from the business barely paid for the upkeep of his family. I wondered about the differences in the services provided by this kind of shop and a certified shop who charges almost double for the same services.

The Precision of Puri Bandi

At the end of the street, where it meets the crossroads, stands a little stall that sells hot puris. Bhanu, a 30-year-old man runs the stall with this brother. The bandi, or stall, is modified smartly with the addition of a table covered by an advertisement flex sheet, which provides the extra space for rolling of atta into a puri. Bhanu studied till Class 10 but was forced to give up his education due to family responsibilities. He was very satisfied with his work and aspired to develop the same shop with a shutter-bound structure. On asking about the reason for selection of this spot he replied that he has placed it at a critical position of the tri-junction where it’s visible from all three lanes. He further commented “Agar ek step aagey jaaunga toh police mushkil khada karegi aur ek step peeche gaye toh customers ko dhikhega nahi ” (If the stall moves one step ahead, the police will create problems and if it takes one step back, the visibility of this shop will diminish). The bandi only opens till 1pm every day. After 1 pm, that space is utilized by a fruitseller. I was amazed by such precision in the timing and space.

There were many other shops in the street with lives around it which may have different stories to tell. Though they have their own stories, they co-exist together in the limited space of the street by using different ways of coping with situations in order to survive. I left the street, with a new image of Ameerpet – a street that consists of shops that are not given as much importance due to their nature of ‘informality’ but yet play a major role in the lives of people who depend on these for their livelihood, and how similar unnoticed structures exist in every street in the country.

 


The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

A Market That Never Shuts

 

By Aanandita Sikka

 

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The Gudimalkapur Market is Hyderabad’s biggest flower market.

Far away from the tall buildings of multinational companies, is the Gudimalkapur Flower Market tucked away in the suburb of Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad. The flower market was first established in 1935 as a part of the Mozzam Jhi fruit market and was shifted to the current location in 2009. Since then, the market has grown from a total of 65 shops in 2009 to roughly 200 shops. It is spread across 11 acres and is the largest flower market in the state of Telangana. The market is unique in a lot of ways. It sells a wide range of flowers from marigolds to exotic varieties of roses and daisies. It also never closes — there is no concept of a day off or a holiday. “How would the flower market have a day off? Flowers are required when someone dies, they are required when someone is born or marries. You need them in temples and in mosques. Everyone needs flowers and they need it every day,” said  Dinesh, an employee who records the quantum of flowers entering the market every day.

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The market stays open on all days of the year and runs from 2am to 10pm everyday.

Hierarchies at work

The market stays open from 2am to 10pm and the space changes drastically from day to night. In the morning, it is a bustling market, at night it becomes a place where most labourers sleep. Apart from them, there are truck drivers and farmers who are busy unloading flowers. The supply chain of the market shows multiple levels of hierarchies under which people work. There are various actors such as commission agents, labourers, farmers, and people involved in allied activities such a transport, waste disposal, and management etc.

The market is a complex structure both in terms of its spatiality and organisation. For this reason, the institute had decided to analyse the supply chain of the market. The supply chain is important because it helps us establish the relationship between different actors in the market. It helps us evaluate the power relationships and lets us trace rich details about social structure in the market. These details narrate some important lessons about access to work and identity, gender, social ties and other forms of social stratification. While working on the supply chain of the market, we realised that the social relations, identity and forms of social stratification are important for understanding work holistically. This is exemplified in the narrative of a migrant worker.

Can you choose the work you do?

On the first day, I had seen a young boy wearing an orange Swiggy T-shirt. This made me curious and I finally interviewed him on the last day of my visit to the flower market. The T-shirt was his brother’s. He asked me where I was from, and I replied Mumbai. His face lit up suddenly and he mentioned that he has visited Mumbai twice in the past year. “I went for the Maratha Moracha…the one that happened at Azad Maidan in Mumbai…we should also get reservation,” he said, explaining that he belongs to a farmer’s family at Nandigram, Maharashtra. He has seen people around him committing suicide because of losses in farming and no reservation for government jobs. “You would know, global warming has been happening, there are no rains and I don’t want to be involved in agriculture anymore, that is the reason I came to Hyderabad.”He goes on to narrate how his relative got him a job in the flower market. He has great difficulty sometimes working in the market because he does not know how to speak Telugu. For the same reason, he struggles to find a job elsewhere. He wants to work in a place with a computer, and one of his friends has promised him a job at a bank next year in Hyderabad. This narrative points out the significance of one’s location, social relations, and trust which play an important role in determining the kind of work people have access to. and kind of aspirations they can afford to have.

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Where are the women?

Exemplification of this is also seen while analysing supply chain from the lens of gender. As we entered the market in the early morning hours, each one of my group members pointed to the gender imbalance in the market. Flowers for very long have been associated with femininity, despite that the presence of women in the market is very limited. We took a round of the market and found no woman shopowners or wholesalers. We found no women employed as helpers or for making garlands either. We started to ask around if there were any women who owned shops or were employed in the shops in the market. Some people said that it was because of the fear of harassment that women were not allowed to work in the market. One of the commission agents in a very casual tone said,  “Farmers stay here (inside the market) at night, females don’t come here.”

Others believed that it is the nature of work itself which includes lifting heavy loads that makes the job unsuitable for women. Some people said the working hours were too long for women to work here. The market opened at 2 am and closed at 10 pm. The arguments made were not just about safety but also about a female’s duty to the household and the husband. But this did not mean that women are completely absent from the market. Most buyers who come to buy flowers in small amount are women. One of the female buyers named Renuka who sells flowers near on footpath near Chikarpally said, “Women have a right to flowers! But I won’t demand my rights here… I am scared.”

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There were some women who sell flowers sitting on the ground, near the gate of the market. One among them said caste was the main reason for the choice of work. Their caste is not one of the castes who engage in work relating to domestic help and cleaning and thus, as a source of supplementary income, they choose to sell flowers. It is acceptable for them to do so because their husbands sell fish right outside the market.

These narratives from the flower market bring out some crucial understandings about youth and their involvement in various kinds of work. First being that work is not merely an economic activity whose access can be gained due to the presence of only skills. The access is also determined by one’s social relations, one’s location and other factors relating to identity. It also points out that youth is not a homogenous category. Youth includes people of different castes, genders, regional identity etc and this identity plays a crucial role in determining the access along with the kind of negotiating power they have. It also suggests that at a macro scale, the policy should be sensitive to these factors and its mandate incorporate diversity when matters about youth and work are concerned.

The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

Winter Institute Series 2018-2019: Students explore how youth navigate work and workplaces in Hyderabad city

A Business Standard report based on NSSO data recently claimed that unemployment in India had reached a record high in 45 years in 2017-2018. Moreover rates of unemployment was higher in urban areas than in rural areas. Not only was one seeing a low creation of jobs but there was also signs of worsening quality of jobs. On the other hand, the Government of India had launched the National Skill Development Mission, the National Urban Livelihoods Mission and the Make in India program in order to create jobs, job security and prepare the youth of the country to take up jobs in a new economy. Urban unemployment has thus become one of the primary political agendas in the country given that India has a strong demographic dividend.

Given the relevance of the topic and the intricate ways in which cities are built around local economies and in turn spatial organisations of work structures mobilities and aspirations,this year’s Winter Institute program decided to examine the interlinkages between the youth, the work they do and aspire to and the city.

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Detailed orientation sessions prior to field visits

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