Multi-stakeholder dialogue with TruStone in Rajasthan

SandstoneBrachot family

TruStone organised a multi-stakeholder dialogue in Rajasthan, India, in late October 2023. Belgian importer and committed TruStone member Brachot was invited to the table along with fellow importers, Trustone members, the international NGO Arisa, local NGOs Aravali and Manjari, and Indian producers and exporters.

The aim of this conference was to hold an open and informative dialogue on sandstone production in Rajasthan and to view conditions in the quarries and production plants on site. During a field trip on the first day, we visited a large sandstone quarry where we were able to observe effective health, safety and environmental measures (dust reduction, water recycling, safety equipment for workers, replanting of trees etc.).

We subsequently toured the local community initiatives launched by Manjari and Aravali. Among other things, we paid a visit to the Community Centre in Budhpura, which Brachot supports from a financial perspective via the NoChildLeftBehind project. This Community Centre accommodates multifunctional classrooms that allow local children to take supplementary lessons, either on site or via online courses. It additionally organises auxiliary courses for adults, such as health and safety training, for example.

We also visited the offices of local NGO Manjari, where we enjoyed a dynamic presentation of their activities. This includes everything from providing training for local children to raising workforce awareness and facilitating dialogue between workers and exporters/producers. Manjari has established a “motivation centre” on the production site of a local supplier. This centre provides extra tutoring to children after school hours.  It also enables children under the age of six to take their first steps towards literacy in order to encourage them to attend school.

In the days that followed, we observed multi-stakeholder dialogues between importers, local producers, NGOs and the public authorities, in which local workers openly discussed their working conditions. There has been a considerable amount of progress in recent years. Thanks to TruStone's intervention, significant strides have been made in terms of potable water, payment transparency, worker registration and improved working conditions.


Towards the end of the conference, participants turned their attention to the future. We agreed to continue working on raising worker awareness through additional training and best practice sharing. All of the participants in the consultation showed considerable enthusiasm and left with a positive impression. We will definitely continue to collaborate to ensure that all of the promising ideas arising from this dialogue are adopted in practice.

Click the link to find out more about NoChildLeftBehind.

Shramik Sandhi Community Labour Support Centre

The "Shramik Sandhi" centre, which translates as "Working Community", is committed to improving the lives and working conditions of miners and their families. Brachot helped found the community centre as part of the NoChildLeftBehind initiative. The centre offers them assistance and support with the various challenges they face on a daily basis. It operates on the principle that the miners and their families must themselves take responsibility for leading the fight to improve their working conditions.

The centre serves as a communal space where children, young people and adults can learn, engage in dialogue and collaborate. The centre currently organises the following activities:

  • Recreation: The centre offers communal space and facilities for indoor children’s games. It features a dedicated space for dance, drama and singing. Dance sessions are organised every Saturday.

  • Reading and learning: The centre boasts a well-equipped library. The aim of the library is to nourish children and young people with knowledge and information on a wide range of topics, sparking their curiosity and imagination. The library also acts as a community meeting place. Access is therefore free for all.

Another important function is to provide academic support to school-age children. The centre is equipped with an interactive screen which allows children to access a comprehensive range of courses, experiments and other academic resources.

  • Sporting activities: In addition to the indoor games facilities, the centre also provides a wealth of sports equipment. Children can borrow this equipment and return it after use.

The above represents modest yet steadfast beginnings. The centre has plans to continue investing in strengthening communities, partly via targeted campaigns aimed at establishing workers’ groups and partly by working more closely with local companies to improve their working conditions.