The Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress (DPMC) held a demonstration on Saturday near Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence demanding government jobs for family members of women labourers who lost their lives in Bawana factory fire.

Addressing the demonstrators, DPMC president Sharmistha Mukherjee also demanded that working conditions of women labouers working in Bawana Industrial Area be improved without delay with the government ensuring they received minimum wages asaccording to law.

“Women workers were forced to work on holiday in a cracker factory after being locked from outside. Due to that when a serious fire erupted 17 labourers including 10 women lost their precious lives,” she remarked.

During the protest, women raised slogans against Kejriwal: “Kaamkaji Mahilaon Ko Suraksha Do Suraksha Do, Pidit Mahilaon Ko Nyay Do Nyay Do and Mahilaon Ko Nyuntam Vetan Lagoo Karo Lagoo Karo.”

Mukherjee said that Delhi MCD and Delhi government were trying to shun their responsibilities by making lame excuses, pointing out that Bawana Industrial Area fell within the jurisdiction of DSIDC where the women labourers were illegally forced to work.

The DPMC prepared a report on Bawana fire tragedy which revealed surprising facts on the working conditions of women labourers in Bawana, the Congress leader said. “A women labourer was given Rs. 5000 per month and forced to work 12 hours a day, whereas the minimum wages in Delhi is around Rs. 15,000. They were not being given the benefits in accordance with policies framed by Central and Delhi governments for women welfare.”

Mukherjee added, “there is no arrangement for separate toilet for women in the factory area. Underage girls are being employed in factories.”