India has around 5 crore construction workers who make them the biggest pool of unskilled / semi-skilled workforce after the agriculture sector. These construction workers are employed across Tier I, Tier II and Tier III cities and are often migratory in nature i.e. they travel between rural agglomerations for employment.
Work in the 1 lakh-crore real estate industry in India has been largely impeded due to the Covid-19 outbreak with workers leaving sites to go back home, especially in the first phase. While that was the case during the first phase, with panic setting in among the labourers, the second outbreak, more brutal in nature, has claimed many of their lives.
To mitigate this situation, CREDAI Bengal has started free vaccination of construction labourers, with CREDAI Bengal members bearing the entire cost of inoculations Today, around 500 construction workers were given the jab at the South City International School along with camps at several other sites.
Says Nandu Belani, President, CREDAI Bengal, “’The real estate industry employs the 2nd largest number of construction labourers and are the lifeline of our industry. As we look forward to normalisation of real estate construction activities post second phase of the pandemic, it was instrumental for us to ensure that our workforce was protected from the disease. Today, we began vaccinating our construction workers across several construction sites and all our members who are developers have opened up their sites for these camps. We aim to inoculate 50,000 workers in the next few days”.
CREDAI Bengal has been proactive in protecting the lives of its vulnerable and largely poor work-force right through the pandemic by offering them shelter and food at sites. And now, they have risen to the occasion by vaccinating them free of cost. More than 5 crore construction workers build the nation’s homes and cities with an average income of just over Rs. 350 per day, with many of them being their families’ primary earners. The vaccination initiative for these workers are an attempt to provide them a safety net from the virus and also according them dignity.
Says Rahul Kyal, Zonal Coordinator East, CYW, “Today’s programme flags off a series of vaccination camps for labourers which will be held across roughly 100 sites of CREDAI Bengal members who constitute leading real estate developers of the city. Since the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers remained stranded and out of work, due to restrictions on construction sites which barred unvaccinated workers from working. This noble initiative fully funded by us, will help the real estate industry to move forward and give back employment to lakhs of labourers”.
Earlier this week, CREDAI Bengal members had donated a large number of oxygen concentrators and cylinders to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in its bid to fight Covid-19 amongst its citizens. CREDAI Bengal had earlier, also donated dengue-detection devices to KMC to help in the corporation’s battle against dengue. In April this year, CREDAI National had announced the initiative of organising free COVID-19 Vaccination drive for 2.5 crore construction workers at the sites of member developers across India and CREDAI members in Kolkata and West Bengal have initiated the work towards that commitment.
About CREDAI West Bengal
CREDAI West Bengal is the only umbrella body for real estate developers, having four chapters namely in Kolkata, Howrah-Hooghly, Asansol and North Bengal and affiliated to the national body, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI). Members comprise real estate developers engaged in the development of urban housing, commercial projects and social infrastructure projects. CREDAI is regularly working for adoption of better business practices, transparency and discipline by its members. A number of CSR initiatives including welfare for construction workers is a regular affair for CREDAI members.