Carter Childswear has announced it will close its doors on October 6, citing an “unpredictable financial situation”.
The company was founded in 1996 and has been working with child-care workers in India for more than 40 years.
The company said it would not continue to work with childcare workers on a “regular basis”.
“The current financial situation has made the closure of our business extremely difficult,” Carter Child’s chief executive, Akshay K. Gupta, told Al Jazeera.
Gupta said that the company has received no support from the government.
Carter Child has operated in Delhi for more or less 25 years, Gupta said.
“The government has not offered any help in the last two years,” Gupta said, adding that the government did not provide enough financial assistance for Carter Child to stay afloat.
He said Carter Child would be selling its assets in the future.
“We have been running Carter Child for the last 25 years.
We have no other option but to close our doors.
The family is very grateful for the support of the Indian government,” Gupta added.
According to the Childs, a private company that provides child care services in India, Carter Child had spent almost Rs 1,000 crore on salaries for workers at its factories, including the ones that produce the shoes worn by children in India.
Childs said the company had invested Rs 100 crore ($1.2 million) in the company’s facilities in 2016-17, which were not fully utilised.
“In the last 18 months, our production capacity has gone up to 3,000 shoes per day, and our annual production has grown to 2,000-3,000 sneakers per day,” Gupta told Aljazeera.
“This has caused a significant reduction in the number of employees.
The management has not been able to take responsibility for the work that is being done in the factories, which is causing the employees stress and suffering.”
The company had a turnover of Rs 2.2 crore ($31,800) in 2016.
The workers’ rights group Dalit Welfare Association of India said that it has filed a petition with the Supreme Court in Delhi seeking compensation for the workers’ distress.
“They are in distress.
They are not getting the quality of life they deserve.
There is no alternative but to file a petition in the Supreme court,” Dalit activist and executive director of the group A.S. Chidambaram told Aljeet Zee News.
“Their labour is the main reason for us to be protesting in this case.
The Supreme Court needs to take a tough stand against the company, the labour department and the government for not taking any action to provide proper care to the workers,” Chidam said.
According the group, Carter Childrens factories in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad employ approximately 100,000 workers.
The group said that, despite the fact that it is a privately owned company, it is not immune from the labour laws in India as it is owned by a private firm.
The government does not have any powers over Carter Children.
According, a labour ministry spokesperson told Aljiet Zees News that the labour ministry has “not taken any steps” to address the concerns raised by Dalit workers.
“However, the ministry is taking a holistic approach to address labour concerns, including taking action on the matter of unpaid wages and wages not being paid in full,” the spokesperson said.
Dalit organisations in India have been campaigning for a higher minimum wage and a ban on child labour for years.
In March 2016, the government had proposed a minimum wage of Rs 6.20 per day for child labourers.
In February 2017, the Supreme Tribunal ordered the government to pay wages to Dalit labourers, saying that the issue should be dealt with in a “fair manner”.
The government has said that in a bid to curb child labour, it will set up a special task force to monitor child labour in various industries.