Dubai-based group launches initiative to eliminate use of term ‘blue collar’ – News

Alok Gadkar, Pashupati and Dr Harmeek Singh. — Photo provided

BeyondBlue is hosting a charity show to benefit industrial workers in the Emirates and beyond.

Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:24 PM

Last update: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:26 PM

A Dubai-based group has officially launched a global initiative that aims to eliminate the use of the term “blue collar” to refer to those working in manual labor across all industries.

Called BeyondBlue, the project was conceptualized and founded by Dr. Harmeek Singh, Founder and Chairman of Plan B; and Alok Gadkar, MD and Executive Creative Director, Partnership Advertising, to highlight the issue and mobilize support from key stakeholders to achieve his goal of redefining the conversation about our workers. It was launched with a special charity show during the ongoing Life Fashion Week which is held in the Sheikh Saeed Halls 2 and 3 of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Singh and Gadkar call for people’s support for using “industrial workers” or “skilled workers” referring to those who work in this sector.

“We have been working with the industrial worker sector for many years now through our Box of Hope project, providing various forms of assistance to this underserved sector of our community. By working with Alok and his team at Partnership, we thought we would elevate the conversation globally and call for a more dignified way to identify our industrial workers,” Singh said.

Gadkar hopes the initiative will inspire people to move away from a discriminatory term associated with color. “Having an honest day’s work, as many of our industrial workers regularly do, cannot be defined by the color of their collar. In fact, as many of them are involved in building and running many businesses, the elimination of this color-based identity gives their profession a semblance of pride,” he added.

At the benefit show, industrial workers walked the ramp during the BeyondBlue segment of Life Fashion Week, wearing specially designed and produced jumpsuits to creatively signify the project’s call to stop using the term “col blue “.

The limited edition coveralls will be sold, the proceeds of which will be used by the BeyondBlue team to promote the global call to end the practice of using “blue collar” workers and contribute to the well-being of workers in industry.

With the UAE providing livelihoods for some 2.7 million workers, BeyondBlue founders Singh and Gadkar believed the country was the best launchpad for this global initiative. “We will take this conversation to the international level and hope that at some point international organizations will institute vital language and policy reforms that will help the cause and restore dignity to our industrial workers,” Singh and Gadkar said.

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Elizabeth J. Harless