Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are backbone of the Indian industry and indeed the economy. CRB recognises that integration of responsible businesses cannot happen in Indian industry without involving the Indian SMEs sector. It is an imperative, therefore to convey the business case for sustainability to the Indian SME sector. This has been CRB’s approach on this issue, as has been demonstrated by some of its interventions enumerated here below:
Rights & Responsibilities of Women Textiles Workers
This Rights and Responsibilities (R&R) program was co-developed by leading apparel and textiles brands/buyers who source from Indian suppliers, many of who are SMEs. The aim of this intervention led by CRB, has been to help owners and managers of apparel factories understand the importance of protecting the rights of women workers, from the perspective of ensuring long-term business relations with these brands..
The Program employs five short films on key worker-centric issues – Health & Safety, Misconduct, Good Working Environment, Overtime, Worker Representation, as the primary training tool, and further provides the necessary reading & communication supporting material (in the form of a training manual and posters) and implementation support (virtual and in person) to equip and enable suppliers to effectively use these films to train factory workers, thereby driving increased awareness on their (worker) rights and responsibilities.
Social Dialogue in Apparel Supplier Factories in South India
Social dialogue is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to include all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social welfare.
CRB has implemented an initiative to promote social dialogue within the supplier factories of brands by either setting-up /re-constituting in partnership with H&M (as required) of Works Committee with democratically elected worker and management representatives to represent their interests. This also entailed facilitation of effective functioning of communication channels in general and the worker committees in specific as forums for communication, dialogue, deliberation and solution oriented decision making.
Sustainable and Inclusive Mica Supply Chain, Jharkhand
The future of mica entrepreneurs was rendered uncertain with the banning of mica mining with the coming into effect of the Forest Protection Act 1980 in Jharkhand. There had also been news about unsafe mining, fatalities and children in the supply chain of mica. However, due to growing industrial use internationally, mica from Jharkhand was in high demand and local entrepreneurs could meet this demand.
CRB has developed a ‘roadmap’ for an inclusive and sustainable mica industry in Jharkhand. Mica SMEs, government actors, NGOs involved in the mica sector/supply chain could come together to re-build the mica sector/industry that supports local livelihoods/enterprises, in a way that takes into consideration critical social, economic and environmental sustainability parameters.