‘How the Other Half Lives’ Photo Exhibition

Here at MEM we are very much looking forward to the upcoming photo exhibition, ‘How the Other Half Lives’, taking place in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon next week.

This exhibition will take consumers on a journey to the other, less visible, rarely talked about side of Gurgaon and give them an insight into the lives of the workers behind the products that they buy in the mall.

Although workers are the backbone of industry in India, they enjoy little of its successes. In their world, long working hours, poor pay, exploitation and substandard living conditions are the norm. It is a world where covering the most basic living costs is a constant struggle, where buying medicine for a sick family member means going into debt.

However workers and consumers are inextricably linked through the products that they make and buy. By  introducing consumers to the lives of workers who live within the same geographical area as them this exhibition will encourage consumers to think critically about this link and provide opportunities for consumers to get involved in the struggle to improve these conditions.

This exhibition wants to close the circle, bringing those on the edges inside. It wants to encourage consumers to meet the other side of Gurgaon, gain an understanding of the difficult conditions workers endure and in doing so take the first step of a long journey in solving some of these complex problems.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on Monday 28th May at 5pm in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. It will also include a puppet show developed by ‘Creative Stars’, a theatre group of workers’ children, which tells the story of a worker in Gurgaon based on the children’s own experiences.

The exhibition will be open to the public daily from 11am – 8pm on Monday 28th May – Friday 1st June.

We hope to see you there.

For photos from the exhibition please see here.

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May Day

As a celebration of the international labour movement, May Day is an important day for workers throughout the world, commemorating the hard earned workers’ rights after years of struggles. It is also a time to remember the  challenges facing the workers’ movement as we move ahead.

This May Day, Mazdoor Ekta Manch and Garment and Allied Workers Union (GAWU) celebrated the day in Gurgaon, Haryana.  Hundreds of workers, families, and children celebrated a day that usually goes unnoticed in the Gurgaon area. Many young workers and children who have never before celebrated May Day as a historic international working class day, joined in to raise their voices in pride, recognising the many victories of workers around the world.
The Workers’ Children’s Theatre Group,called  ‘Little Stars’, organised through Tarang (workers’ cultural programme), did a magnificent performance showing the story of  the migration of a worker from a rural to urban area in search of a livelihood.
 The main event of the day was a gripping cricket match between locally organised teams of workers, with enthralling commentary which was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Dalit leadership was prominent among speakers and participants – taking pride in their heritage and urging all of us to transform the society we live in. GAWU (Garment and Allied Workers Union) Executive Committee members were interviewed by TV channels.  Workers sang revolutionary songs, written by a GAWU EC member.
Mazdoor Ekta Manch and GAWU joined our voices with yours and others around the world on May Day against the labour violations that take place here in Gurgaon, as well as other such exploitations and violations that take place around the world.