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Gyanesh Mandal

Gyanesh Mandal is among the 49 million people employed in India’s dwindling manufacturing sector. Manufacturing absorbs 10.5% of the country’s labour force and produces 15.3% of its Gross Domestic Product. Gyanesh’s family owns about a tenth of an acre for agricultural purpose. His father, Shyamdev Mandal, recently raised a loan to set up a small shop in the village to sell household items to neighbours. Gyanesh works at a footwear factory in Kerala State. Although his father wanted him to stay in the village and help at home, Gyanesh decided to accompany his uncle when the latter went to Kerala for work. Gyanesh is 18 and from the Kevat community, scorned as ‘low caste’ by others.

 

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