In this episode of Behind the Label, RJ Asha covers Dr. Shilya’s address to the members of the Garment Labour Union (GLU). Dr. Shilya talks about nutrition for garment workers, physical fitness, and vulnerability to diseases among the community of workers.
It is common, she says, to be stressed in a job that requires constant physical effort. Mental fitness, physical fitness, and proper nutrition are all crucial factors of health in an exerting job such as this. She suggests that the workers take breaks every hour to do some neck exercises and to destress themselves.
Also, high levels of personal hygiene must be maintained in a space where many people work in close proximity to one another. Foods high in protein, iron, and calcium, along with a proper serving of carbs, must be a part of the diet followed by the workers. Further, a standard water intake of at least eight glasses a day is a must.
In all, according to Dr. Shilya, a nutritious diet supplemented by proper regulation of stress and an appropriate level of physical fitness is important to counter various conditions garment workers are vulnerable to. Muscle issues, lung diseases, bodily pain, and discomfort can make fulfilling work responsibilities difficult.
Interventions by experts, such as this address by Dr. Shilya can create awareness among the workers regarding their health and the importance it carries. A special acknowledgment of the stress experienced by the workers and mental fitness also works in the direction of creating an understanding of the same. These meetings are also likely to help the Union recognise the points of concern that they need to work to resolve.
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Written by Anagha Bharadwaj.