The onsite visits have easily made that biggest impression while trying to understand the scope and breadth of Rachaita Cooperative.
We started our day by visiting the crossroads where women and men wait to be hired for daily work. There are so many people that the road gets congested, traffic swirling around people hoping to get work. Out of the hundreds waiting to get hired for a days wage, about 70% will get picked up for a job. Women consistently get hired at a lower rate than men, and they are only considered for certain jobs. There are needs for skilled workers (workers that know how to cut tile, put up plaster, etc) and unskilled workers that are needed to move rock, mix cement, etc.
After visiting with the construction workers, we made our way up to the Tools Library. Here we say all of the different tools can be rented out to workers. These tools can make a big improvement in wages. For example, a tile cutter without a cutting machine can make 300Rs a day, while with a machine she can make 500Rs—and the tile cutter is only 100Rs to rent. The library isn’t out to make a profit, simply to empower workers. This is great because they can keep wages low.
As you can see, being onsite is invaluable for us to really learn about the business.