Kavitha, a 17-year-old girl who had been working in an Indian textile mill for nearly three years, died from injuries sustained at work. She was just 14 when she agreed to work at the mill, yet her family never received the money their daughter worked so hard to earn.
Many women like Kavitha are caught up in a dangerous but prevalent system called the Sumangali Scheme, which targets young women and their families by promising a lump sum payment of about US $500-1,000 for three years of work. The money is intended for use by the family to pay the girl’s dowry and enable her to get married. However, a lack of regulation in the region can lead to the exploitation of these women, who often work and live in dangerous conditions and sometimes receive much less money than initially promised.
Learn more about the causes, impact and possible solutions for the Sumangali Scheme in a new research report written by Solidaridad with support from the Fair Labor Association: Understanding the Sumangali Scheme in Tamil Nadu’s Textile & Garment Industry.