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Fragile Fabric : Missing Out on Quality Childcare

The textile and garment sector is critical to India’s economy. There are an estimated 1200 factories in Bangalore employing approximately 500,000 (5 lakh) garment workers. The majority of this workforce is women.

The Indian Factories Act, 1948, requires that factories employing more than fifty women workers should provide crèche facility for children under the age of six years in the factory premises. However, it has been found that many garment factories in Bangalore do not have adequate crèche facilities. In factories that do provide the facilities, crèches are poorly maintained. They lack trained personnel who are equipped to respond to the developmental needs of young children. Some workers do not like to bring their children to factory crèches due to poor conditions and also because of transportation problems.

Many garment workers leave their children at home or in their native village where they are cared for by relatives. In the absence of help from family, workers leave their children with a neighbour or an informal child-minding facility in the neighbourhood.

The movie “Fragile Fabric” briefly documents the lives of two garment workers and their struggle to provide care to their children.