• This is India! 88

This is India! 88

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Istanbul has been incredible and I’m so glad I went. After the terrorist attack a couple weeks ago, I was a little hesitant because it was targeting to tourists and this was a tourism event that the controversial Turkish president was speaking at. I felt completely safe there although did think the tourist area of Sultanahmet seemed a little empty, but I have nothing to compare it to since this was my first time there. I loved the city and I’m sad to leave… it was so nice to explore Europe again and was nice to spend the last 5 days wandering alone like I did in Europe years ago.
  • I will be updating a lot about it soon – I’m actually really behind on freelance work (the stuff that pays the bills, aka not this blog lol) so might be a little MIA until Monday on emails and such.

Now your story,

I’ve always worried for the road workers in India when it comes to safety standards… and if there are any. I find that there are never warning signs saying “men at work” or any kind of rules about slowing down when you drive. The work they do is sometimes fully manual labor with breaking rocks with pick axes and carrying them on their head, and sometimes machinery is used to.

Here is a scene from the dangerous road heading up to the Sela Pass.

This is India! 88

This is India! 88

This is India! 88

These guys are hired and trained by the BRO (Border Roads Organization). I’m not really up on safety codes, but this was the typical road working scene up there. Here in Goa they work with no signs as well and traffic certainly doesn’t slow down… then again here, traffic doesn’t even make room for an ambulance most times, truly.

Here’s another guy hard at work, doing something electrical with no one spotting him on that tall “ladder”.

This is India! 88

This is India! 88

I’ve gotten quite used to seeing men at work here in conditions that don’t seem safe, which is a little sad. They don’t make much money to be doing such dangerous work either. I wonder why Indian companies don’t have stricter rules regulated by the government to keep workers safe? Maybe is there no workers comp here, or suing for injury on the job?

This is India!

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Dev February 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Interesting pictures. So are you still travelling around India? I am visiting southern part of India and Goa, any tips what all to see (picture me as a frugal backpacker) :D

  2. Betsy February 15, 2016 at 5:38 am - Reply

    I like your photos. You are right, the way they do things in India seems (or I am sure is) so much more dangerous than in the United States. This is a good question about workers comp. I am sure they can probably sue, but it is my understanding that the Indian court system is much slower than in the United States. But the whole, no shoes thing really freaks me out. I really love all my toes!

    • Rachel Jones February 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Good point, you’re right the courts here are REALLY slow.

  3. Justine February 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Yeah, the work conditions in developing countries can be really bad. When I was living in Cambodia there was a huge building going up across the street from my apartment. I think it was about 18 stories when I left. But I was always horrified when I saw men teetering at the top, laying down the scaffolding. It was some scary stuff!

    • Rachel Jones February 16, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

      Eek yeah it’s so scary! I just imagine that these building companies (usually builders in India are so rich) are loaded and it seems so fucked up that they allow people to work like this… I guess if it is a government project, they have less money though

  4. Tim UrbanDuniya February 22, 2016 at 5:54 am - Reply

    I used to see this all the time, and not just with people working – buildings and walls which seemed to be held up by flimsy bamboo poles, etc…

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