• West Bengal
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Pop pills and work

Running a business and meeting deadlines is a stressful job and meeting ends at the manufacturing industries. There are several industries in our country and the textile industries are among one of the major industries. Mostly women are employed in the textile industries. They need to manufacture the bulk of clothes and work for long hours. In Tamil Nadu, women working in the garment industries are given certain pills which makes working for them easier during their periods.

According to sources, the women were given unlabelled and illegal painkillers as a remedy for their menstrual cramps. These medicines had adverse effects on women’s health. They are causing depression, irregular periods, anxiety, urinary tract infections, and even miscarriages. There is a supervisor called ‘timekeeper’ who keeps an eye on their work and every movement including when they take bathroom breaks.

These women were given no choices, they were asked either the pill or lose wages. Many of them belonged within 15-25 years of age. One of them revealed that the pills messed up her menstrual cycle and caused fibroids. For them this job is what earns the bread and butter for their family; so, losing wages was not an option for them. They had to take the pills.


As per the law, any sort of medical dispensary must be run by qualified and certified doctors and nurses. Both central government and state officials have stated that had no idea of the situation. A state official said,

We will soon be doing surveillance across factories to get a real picture that will reflect the problems workers face.”

The doctor says these pills are causing hormonal imbalance in them. A timekeeper who is involved in serving the pills discloses that she herself never took the pills nor allowed those women with whom she had a good rapport. In the wake of these events, the state has planned to launch a project to monitor the workers’ health and also study the matter more deeply.

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