To provide guidance to its members, FWF has drawn a document on the risks related to the Sumangali Scheme and India’s Bonded Labour System.
In the Sumangali Scheme, the garment industry of Tirupur and surrounding areas are primarily employing young girls. Over 80% of the Sumangali Scheme is identified to be in the spinning mills sector and less than 20% in garment manufacturing processes.
Abusive work environment
Spinning mills employ agents who use the vulnerability of poor families from lower castes, tempting them with a lump sum payment at the end of three years to be used by the parents for their daughter’s wedding.
Once the contract is signed, girls aged 14 to 20 are under the control of the factory or the agent. They experience limited freedom of movement, excessive working hours, abusive work environment, sexual harassment, no adequate leave, and discrimination on the basis of caste.
The guidance document addresses the risks and offers preventive steps that FWF affiliates can take, like identifying whether the production site employs migrant workers and whether they stay in dormitories or hostels.
For more information on the risks related to Sumangali(-like) Schemes, read the FWF Guidance document here.