When I was younger, I wanted to be a policeman or a military man. My father had a general shop, but it wasn’t doing well. I had gone to school and got my BA, but I couldn’t find a job. There was an immediate need at home for money. I had no choice. I heard about a job in construction from a friend and began working on a site in West Bengal. I moved to Bangalore six months ago to find more work.
I began training with LabourNet a month ago, but I’m already learning so many technical things that I had no idea about. Even though I am 32 and have been working in construction for 16 years, I didn’t have anything to show for it. All of my experience didn’t count for anything. With this training, I will be able to get my certification. It is very important to me because then I will have proof of my skills.
After my LabourNet course, I want to continue learning. My plan is to take the course offered by the Prime Minister’s office. With more training, my hope is to get a permanent job with one of the construction companies.
Even though I am now at the supervisor level, there is no stability. I work with a contractor, so it’s all temporary work. I could be out of a job at any time.
I have never had a permanent job. If I want to go home, I lose money every day I’m not working. If I’m not working, I’m not earning. There are no benefits either.
My biggest concern is my family. I am always worrying about them. If they have any problems, they don’t want to tell me or bother me because I’m so far. I never know if everything is OK with them. It is very difficult. I am proud, however, that I am able to support my family and send money home regularly.
Jakir, 32, is originally from West Bengal, India, and a customer of Acumen investee, LabourNet.