India is tough

Kelly McClellen is an Operating Engineer from I.U.O.E. Local 101 in Kansas and Missouri and a member of Heartland Women in Trades. She shared her thoughts early in our trip:

“Have you ever been a part of something way bigger than yourself?

During my time in India, I’ve seen some of the saddest cultural life I hope is around!

Children begging to feed their families. The injustice for humans is horrible. It is amazing to think that I may have been a part of a movement that gives women the ability to become skilled with tools and work alongside the men as I do. It is a process that could take more than 100 years and I’m sad I won’t be able to witness this but I’m anxious to see a baby step in the right direction.

Construction here seems to be a few steps behind us as they dig ditches by hand and hoist concrete in buckets with a rope and pulley. There are many people here trying to help and as far as I can see the policies and laws are there to protect all citizens and even females in construction but the enforcement is so different because of the number of people and lack of ability to enforce and control the human culture.

Hopefully with advocates, activists and our US Tradeswomen Delegation we will inch in the right direction.

This group of women & Brian are an amazingly diverse, intelligent, passionate and skilled family. Yes now we are a family. We will together help change the world for the better.

I would urge everyone to visit India with the time to soak up the culture or even research with looking into the poorest (informal) sector and the less poor (formal) of construction life and cultural life. #humbledtradeswoman.”

Kelly McClellen
IUOE – International Union Operating Engineer Local 101 KS/MO
HWIT – Heartland Women In Trades


Holly, Kelly and Edwina with two women construction workers and rep from Mobile Creche of Delhi.


Brian and Kelly with young Tea Stall worker and his little brother.

About susanmoir2015

Researcher, feminist, labor activist.
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7 Responses to India is tough

  1. Noreen Buckley says:

    Proud to be part go this family!


  2. btc1953 says:

    Hi Susan, thanks for your posts and a view of life and work so far away. Hope you are well and lucky? To be missing our first potential snowstorm ( 6-12 inches predicted) Love and best to you, brian

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, B. Just catching up. How about 50 words form you on the trip?


  4. Carol katz says:

    Kelly – thank you for sharing your observations thoughts and hopes on how your delegation is part of the larger movement for change and for encouraging us to visit or learn about India. And It’s so good to be reminded in these times of the need to take the long view.
    Susan – missing you and looking forward to to hearing more from you and your delegation.
    Sending you lots of love from the orange line as I commute to Cambridge with hopes of being able to return home tonight. We are finally getting a BIG snow stormy that you would love (if you were in NH


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