Ballad of Builders

Takhleeq ka Tarana
Gargi Sen
English (subtitled), 59 min, 1993, India

From Mohenjodaro to modern India, construction continues to be the common foundation of growth and development. Yet, the construction workers, over 20 million in number, continue to eke out a miserable living where even the basic necessities for dignified living are denied to them. In 1985, a unique process was begun by various organisations of construction workers: the drafting of a comprehensive legislation on construction work. Workers from all over India, with help from legal experts, participated in the drafting of a Bill that could ensure social justice to construction workers. But the Bill was never passed. The film looks at the condition of the construction worker vis-a-vis the construction industry, builders' organisations and the government, and attempts to present the logic for the Bill and why it was never implemented.

Magic Lantern Foundation
Creative Crew
Gautam Bose, Ranjan De
Ranjan De
Gargi, Partho, Sonali, Vipul
Awards and Screenings:

'Ballad of Builders' has been screened to millions of construction workers all over India by various unions in the campaign to press for implementation of the Bill. Although the Bill in its entirety was never accepted by any government, the campaign was able to bring about significant changes in the laws concerning construction workers in several states, particularly in Tamil Nadu.