Life of a Daily Wage Worker

India is an emerging global market. Its “formal” economy comprises businesses that adhere to the country’s regulations; pay taxes, follow labour laws. It’s the face of the country’s economy for the world. 

However, behind that lies the country’s “informal” economy, which consists of everything else left out of the “formal” sector – hundreds of millions of daily wage workers, farmers, garbage pickers, shopkeepers, construction workers, rickshaw pullers, taxi drivers, and many more. 

Working as a painter, construction worker, and sometimes driver, Chob Singh is a man of struggles living in a world where the harsh reality suffocates one’s dreams; he is a daily wage worker. A migrant labourer from north India’s Uttar Pradesh state, Singh, is among over 450 million people operating in the economy’s informal matrix.

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He came to the national capital several years ago in quest of finding work. He wakes up in the morning every day to wait at the labour stand in Delhi’s Chandi Chowk area with the hope of getting his “dihadi” – daily wage work. Dihadi, which is required for his food and for his roof. There are millions like him, striving hard every day for their dihadi – millions of jaded, hungry but smiling faces.

StoriesAsia, a collective of independent journalists from 16 South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, seeks to replace the present-day parade of faceless numbers with humanising narrative nonfiction – a largely ignored journalistic genre in the region.

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