Results stakeholder dialogue Rajasthan

In April 2021 the TruStone Initiative, NGO Arisa and companies that participate in the TruStone Initiative together with suppliers and NGOs from Rajasthan (India), started an open constructive dialogue. The goal of this ongoing dialogue is to share challenges, good practices and lessons learned and to jointly formulate practical solutions and next steps to develop a responsible and sustainable sandstone sector in Rajasthan state in India. Various results have been achieved.

© Arisa
The participants agreed to work together on three topics:
• Improving registration, especially with regard to the payment of wages: The objective is to improve the registration of payments. In many quarries and cobble yards workers are paid in cash. Work outsourced to homeworkers by yard owners is also paid in cash. As a result, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of workers producing cobbles and whether their labour rights are respected. To mitigate IRBC-issues such as low wages and forced labour it is necessary to take labour out of the informal circuit and increase transparancy. An important step to achieve that is to provide all workers with an ID-card and a bank account.
• Improving occupational health and safety conditions: The objective is to provide clean drinking water, sheds for lunch and rest, sanitation for men and women and appropriate personal protection equipment.
• Providing access to remedy: The objective is to provide access to remedy so that stakeholders in the supply chain (such as workers, or people living near factories or quarries) can make their voices heard. It also ensures that companies really get to know what is going on in the field of social, human and environmental rights.

So far the dialogue has led to a movement in the Bundi region in Rajasthan to improve working conditions. As a result of this movement, the following results have been achieved:
• The Indian government has set up an e-registration scheme for unregistered labourers. TruStone-partners ARAVALI and SFNS helped labourers in the sector to register for this online scheme
• The government is building a large water storage facility in Budhpura. Houses will be connected to the water system.
• On an ongoing basis SFNS and Manjari visit locations (at quarries and cobble yards) to inform workers about their rights. This is often done through labour groups that they created.

TruStone companies involved:
• Brachot
• B&S Natuursteen BV
• Maris natuursteen
• Marshalls NV
• Michel Oprey & Beisterveld
• Stone NV
• Tuinmaterialen Meynen
• Vandix BVBA
• Westvlaams Tegelhuis NV

Local partners:
• Manjari