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Hurry Up and Wait: The Life of the Informally Employed in Urban India
Three vendors pass the time and wait for customers in the Mullick Ghat flower market in Kolkata, India.
In spite of India’s considerable development over the past few decades, the majority of the country’s urban workforce remains informally employed. Those working in the informal sector—as street vendors, construction workers, fishermen, artisans, domestic workers, etc.—face lower earnings and higher risks than formally employed workers, in part because of the uncertain nature of their jobs. Indeed, the opportunities for earning a wage may vary drastically from one day to the next. This exhibit demonstrates the hard work, resourcefulness, poverty, and stop-and-go lifestyle of those working in India’s informal sector.
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