Building Infrastructure to Support Low-Income Workers throughout India
Ashoka Fellow, Karnataka, India
Speech Topics:Solomon Jaya Prakash founded MAYA Organic as a solution to two of the biggest challenges faced by low-income workers in India: sustaining profitable small enterprises, and regulating and organizing day wage labor opportunities. Solomon has organized a network of small businesses, run by the working poor, which produces competitive, market quality products under a recognized brand name — MAYA Organic. His organization currently works with the garment, lacware, and metal industries, and plans to expand to other sectors. Solomon facilitates each business’ engagement with the mainstream market, enabling it to negotiate, make a profit, and thereby benefit the whole group. Based on Solomon’s background as an engineer, the second prong of his strategy is LabourNet, a network that provides support services to the day laborers who make up a significant portion of the low-income workforce. LabourNet connects jobs and workers, improves work systems at job sites, encourages skill development, and provides access to social security. Together, MAYA Organic and LabourNet are building infrastructure to support all low-income workers, regardless of their specialty, throughout India.
- Low-income Workforce