Indian Working Women Documentary

A young filmmaker travelled to India to produce a documentary about the lives of female construction workers.

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Meera Darji, from Hamilton is working on a documentary called ‘Majoor 9195’, which she is shooting in Majoor, Gujarat.

She wants to show the health and safety issues that are behind these working females, all the things that are not shown.

Working women in India not only work nine hour shifts a day but they work in poor conditions in scorching temperatures.

The 23-year-old said: “There are 1,130,029 unregistered construction workers in Majoor, with an average daily employment rate of 9,195 females.

“This film will look at the lives of Majoor women, exposing the difficult conditions they work in as well as their hopes for the future.

“These women work nine hour shifts a day and some have their children on site.

“The main issue I want to show is the health and safety.

“Some don’t have shoes and are walking on bricks, cement and broken glass.

“These women work so hard, day and night, in scorching temperatures, and it’s shocking to see how they survive in the day.

“We have been filming from early morning, seeing how they live.

“It has been an eye-opener so far, especially with the fact their duties begin before work, as they must clean, cook, feed children, wash clothes and prepare for evening meals.

“As a filmmaker, it has been incredible to not only observe their lifestyles but absorb their hardships and struggles.

“With no complaining or moaning, they continue to lift cement and shovel sand with smiles on their faces.”

Meera has filmed in Gujarat previously, whilst she was working on a 30-minute documentary called ‘Transindia’ which explored the lives of Hijras, the transgender community.

She won the Best Student Factual Film category at the RTS Midlands Centre Awards for her ‘Transindia’ documentary and also received awards in India.

Meera said that she noticed the female construction workers whilst she was filming ‘Transindia’ which gave her the innovative idea for her new documentary.

“I think it is really important people know about different kinds of communities and different people,” Meera said.

“It would be really good to raise awareness and get backers to support them in the future.”

Meera is studying 21st Century Media Practice at Coventry University and this documentary is for Meera’s final post-graduate project.

Meera is in Gujarat for two months, and will be returning at the end of July.

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