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Mumbai — When Avdhesh Pandey reported for work five months ago at one of the thousands of diamond polishing factories in India’s sprawling western city of Surat, he found the doors were locked. The owner had fled overnight without informing his 40 workers.

“The owner shut shop without paying us our monthly salary,” 33-year-old Pandey said in an interview at the home of a labour union colleague, taking a short break from another fruitless day of job hunting. Having lost his monthly income of 22,000 rupees, Pandey said he’s “been roaming the streets in the past month and more trying to get another job. I leave in the morning and come back home in the evening. But no luck.”..

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