On Indian building site, parents tether toddler to rock while they work

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On Indian building site, parents tether toddler to rock while they work
Barrier tape is tied around 15-month-old Shivani's ankle to prevent her from running away, while her mother Sarta Kalara works at a construction site nearby, in Ahmedabad, India, April 20, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Sarta Kalara, a construction worker, holds her 15-month-old Shivani as a barrier tape is tied to Shivani's ankle to prevent her from running away when Kalara works nearby in Ahmedabad, India, April 20, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Sarta Kalara holds her 15-month-old Shivani as one end of a barrier tape is tied to Shivani's ankle to prevent her from running away when Kalara works at a construction site nearby in Ahmedabad, India, April 20, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Barrier tape is tied around 15-month-old Shivani's ankle to prevent her from running away, while her mother Sarta Kalara works at a construction site nearby, in Ahmedabad, India, April 19, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Fifteen-month-old Shivani plays as barrier tape is tied around her ankle to prevent her from running away, while her mother Sarta Kalara works at a construction site nearby, in Ahmedabad, India, April 19, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Sarta Kalara feeds her 15-month-old Shivani as one end of a barrier tape is tied to Shivani's foot and the other end to a stone to prevent Shivani from running away, when she works at a construction site nearby, in Ahmedabad, India, April 19, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Barrier tape is tied around 15-month-old Shivani's ankle to prevent her from running away, while her mother Sarta Kalara works at a construction site nearby, in Ahmedabad, India, April 19, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sarta Kalara (C), a construction worker, stands among other female workers in Ahmedabad, India, April 20, 2016. Kalara says she has no option but to tether her daughter Shivani to a stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad. There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities. Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses. REUTERS/Amit Dave SEARCH "TIED TODDLER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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AHMEDABAD, India, May 17 (Reuters) - Fifteen month-old Shivani tugs at a plastic tape her mother has wrapped around her leg and tied to a rock at a building site in western India.

Barefoot and caked in dust, the toddler spends nine hours a day in temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) attached to the 4.5 foot (1.4 meter) tape marked "caution."

SEE ALSO: Armed guards protect last water in drought-parched Indian city

Sarta Kalara, her mother, says she has no option but to tether Shivani to the stone despite her crying, while she and her husband work for 250 rupees ($3.8) each a shift digging holes for electricity cables in the city of Ahmedabad.

"I tie her so she doesn't go on the road. My younger son is three and a half so he is not able to control her," said the 23-year old, covering her face with her sari.

"This site is full of traffic, I have no option. I do this for her safety."

There are about 40 million construction workers in India, at least one in five of them women, and the majority poor migrants who shift from site to site, building infrastructure for India's booming cities.

Across the country it is not uncommon to see young children rolling in the sand and mud as their parents carry bricks or dig for new roads or luxury houses.

Many such families live in tents on site or, like Shivani's, bed down in the open at night.

Prabhat Jha, head of child protection at Save the Children India, said creche facilities were rare, and usually cost.

"There should be creche facilities, either from the government or the construction companies. There should be a safe place for these children. They are at real risk of being hurt," Jha said.

Indian companies usually outsource the hiring of cheap labor. Contractors bring gangs of workers, often recruited from the same village, to lift, dig or hammer with little oversight or safety provisions.

While Shivani is tied to her rock, men pause for coconut and water amid the searing heat as mothers take quick breaks to feed their kids.

Parents said their children usually stayed with them until they are seven or eight, when they are sent to live with grandparents in poor tribal villages in a neighboring state.

Kalara, holding Shivani as the plastic tape dangled from her leg, said managers had turned a blind eye to her plight.

"They don't care about us or our children, they are only concerned with their work."

When a Reuters photographer returned to the site on a second day, a group of laborers laying power cables threw stones at him. ($1 = 66.5225 Indian rupees)

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