1.02 million

workers are employed in Tamil Nadu’s garment sector


of Tamil Nadu’s 400,000 strong spinning mill workforce are women


Tamil Nadu has the highest percentage in India of child rape in the workplace

Founded by a team of social activists, Serene Secular Social Service Society (SSSSS) is a small, non-profit, secular voluntary organisation whose aim is to create social change and economic empowerment of rural poor women, specifically focusing on Dalit and Tribal women and girls. Based in Dindigul, the organisation was founded in response to the growing marginalisation of and discrimination against women and their rights, health and education in Tamil Nadu. SSSSS supported the creation in 2013 of the Tamil Nadu Textile & Common Labour Union (TTCU) and provides ongoing capacity-building and institutional support to the movement.


TTCU is the only women-led trade union in Tamil Nadu. Established in 2013 by a group of women daily-wage workers and Sumangali scheme survivors, it now has a membership of over 3,000 women and girls and operates across 10 districts in the state (including Dindigul, Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur) and has a reach of over 20,000 women workers. The union aims to protect the interests of its members and to stop injustice and exploitation of women in the workplace and currently takes up cases related to bonded labour and Sumangali scheme workers. They aim to empower all working class women in the textile industry across the state and end exploitation, bonded labour, violence against and discrimination of women workers.


Sisters For Change worked in Karnataka State and Tamil Nadu to help women garment workers combat sexual harassment and violence in factories and mills from 2014-2016. In June 2016, Sisters For Change and Munnade in Karnataka launched a joint report to evidence the findings of our work and the chronic failure of factory compliance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.


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