The unorganized sector plays a vital role in terms of providing employment opportunity to large segment of the working force in the country and also contributes to the National Product remarkably. According to the NSSO survey (1990-2000), out of total workforce 397 million, only 28 million workers are employed in the organized sector and remaining in the unorganized sector. It has been experienced that formal sector could not provide adequate opportunities to accommodate the workforce in the country and informal sector has been providing employment for their subsistence and survival. Keeping in view the existing economic scenario, the unorganized sector will expand further in the years to come. Thus, it needs to be strengthened and activated so that it could act as a vehicle of employment provider and social development. The absence of a meaningful social security arrangement found in unorganized sector does not merely pose problems for individual workers and their families but also has wider consequence for the economy and society. In order to avoid certain issues like low wages, unhealthy work condition, harassment, insecurity of job, exploitation etc proper attention and coverage should be required. It is felt that media can play a significant role in this regards. Compared to other medium of influencing public policy, media like; TV, Radio, Newspaper, Movies, Theatre, Documentary, Street Plays, Folks etc known as fourth pillar of democracy and make a larger and quicker impact on society. Now a day media becomes a powerful tool of social transformation in the Indian Society especially in shaping public opinion, providing justice and scientifically analyzing the facts.
It has been observed that media has yet not provided proper platform to the issues of workers working in the unorganized sector. Media has to address acute issues faced by the workers working in unorganised sector and mould society, government for better policies and improvements to offer better livelihood to the poor workers. Keeping this in mind, Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute, Ahmedabad organized a National Workshop on “Unorganized Sector and Role of Media” on 25th February, 2009.
The broad theme of the workshop were:
- Media and issues of the Unorganised Workers : Critical review of
- Media and Governance
- Media and Other Labour issues like Child Labour, Sexual Harassments in Work Place, HIV/AIDS
- Media’s role in developing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials pertaining to the issues of Unorganised Workers
The prime object of the National Workshop was to raise interactive discussion among various stake holders i.e Academicians, Government Officials, Representatives of Unorganized Sector, Media, NGOs and Civil Society to make them sensitize towards issues faced by workers working in various unorganized sectors of India and the role of media in highlighting and spreading awareness in this regards.