There has been a gradual shift to policies for a more open economy since the 1980s in India. Called variously structural adjustment programmes, stabilization measures, economic reforms, liberalization policies, globalization policies, promarket economic reforms and measures encouraging privatization, these processes have had a tremendous impact on all aspects of our society. Apart from the macroeconomic changes, these policies have also affected health, education, labour and other sectors of the economy and society. These latter areas hardly merit any attention from commentators (Kurien 1994; Vaidyanathan 1995). These sectors, as a consequence of adjustment and reform, have received less support and fewer resources as measures of ‘austerity’ are implemented. There is sufficient evidence now which, despite the alleged safety nets provided to protect the interests of the most vulnerable sections of society, recent cutbacks have seriously undermined these provisions. There are continuous attempts to cut labour costs by technological upgradations, outsourcing of production and reduction of employment (Qadeer et al. 2001; Poonacha 2004; Sheth 2004). Supporters of the reform processes say that there will be dislocations during the phase of adjustment but over time the condition of every section of society will improve. In the long run, the poor will benefit even if they carry the burden of reform on their shoulders.