Poverty in India: New Delhi Slum / Training is a mandatory MUST

Slum, btw New Delhi, originally uploaded by Azchael.

With 41.6% of the population of India falling below the international poverty line (as of 2005), the above is a typical picture of what most of the poorer part of New Delhi looks like.

This extreme poverty, the slums and the overpopulation are also challenging factors for every project conducted on the India subcontinent. Especially on the civils side, be it railways, highways, buildings or other structures, most onsite manpower will be peons, recruited on the street or at the border of slums.

These people herein usually have not graduated from secondary school if alone primary school and lived their life in the slum as can be seen above. From my personal experience I noticed the following thing:

Quality of work cannot be expected from workers without explicit training because the standard expected from norms and from our own Western experience has never been part of the life of these people. Take a close look at the photo above and imagine that these living conditions are what you have experienced your whole life over. Hence for you, bricks do not necessarily be of the same shape and precise size. In contrary, 2nd hand bricks are more common for you and a normal part of construction. Re-using of material for purposes not intended to in the first place becomes commonplace and most of the people you can see rather believe in making a jugaad than in completing a work in the – mostly effort-involving – standard way.

Taken this into account, it is of imminent importance that a profound site training, site supervision and quality control is installed. Taking this a step further, site supervisors in the first instance should always come from other construction works outside of India until you as a project manager are sure that the people you have employed for your work can live up to the standard required.

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