Hard landscaping manufacturer Marshalls is actively working in India to provide children of migrant quarry workers with the opportunity to get an education.
Marshalls is committed to the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) Base Code, which includes the principles that child labour should not be used, no-one should be forced to work, and working conditions should be safe and healthy.
Marshalls’ group marketing director Chris Harrop, has been in Rajasthan meeting a range of stakeholders, visiting quarries and quarrying communities, meeting with the group’s social auditor and reviewing partner NGO activity in the region.
Harrop reaffirmed Marshalls’ commitment to community-based activity in Kota: “Working in partnership with a local NGO, we continue to expand its programme of fully funding schools, alongside funding health camps in the heart of the quarrying area, giving access to information and free medication for workers and their families.
“A rigorous monthly reporting process has been in place since the beginning of this year via our full-time local social auditor here in India helping to drive progress and build capacity”.
Since funding the first school over four years ago, Marshalls now fully funds six schools which are open to the children of all quarry workers in the locality regardless of whether their parents work with Marshalls’ sole supplier in India.
Mrs Joshi, head of the NGO says: “For parents, these schools address the problem of not having money to pay for education and the dearth of any kind of care facilities for their children while they are at work. Importantly, for the children themselves these schools offer access to education, a right which under India law is lost when families migrate in search of work.
“With approximately 300 children being educated each year, Marshalls is making a huge contribution to reducing the illiteracy rate of around 85% in the quarry areas in Rajasthan”.
Marshalls’ Fairstone, launched just over a year ago is an ethically sourced range of Indian natural sandstone quarried and produced in-line with a clear set of ethical values and commitment that Marshalls strongly believes in.