A new report by Agrasar highlights poor working conditions many auto workers face in India. It's found 1000 people across the country suffer crippling injuries and often work up to 12 hours a day for as little as three dollars. Laura Frykberg reports.
For years, Dilip Kumar's hands were his livelihood. Making auto parts for cars in this factory in India's Haryana state. But the very job that sustained him crippled him for life, when his right-hand fingers were mangled by a faulty plastic moulding machine. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) FACTORY WORKER WHO LOST ALL FINGERS OF ONE OF HIS HANDS IN AN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT, DILIP KUMAR, SAYING: "Now I can merely give directions and have to depend on others to get the work done. Before I could do everything myself. I can't even hold a pair of scissors so I have to rely on others to get the work done." Kumar isn't the only victim of India's auto industry. A new report by NGO, Agrasar, says more than 1000 similar incidents occur each year. Most to workers under 23-years-old. It's been blamed on a lack of training, safety inspections and poor machine maintenance. As factories find cheap ways to keep oiling the wheel of India's booming car industry. Prerit Rana is Agrasar's founder. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRERIT RANA, FOUNDER OF NGO CALLED AGRASAR, WHICH HELPS TO REHABILITATE INJURED WORKERS, SAYING: "They are asked straight away to work on machines that they can't operate, then they make a mistake and have these accidents. There are no safety mechanisms." Major vehicle makers claim the problem lies with the small-time contractors. More of which are likely to be needed in the future - General Motors is launching ten new vehicles manufactured in India over the next five years. By 2020, the country's likely to become the world's third-largest auto market.