Poor conditions for India auto workers

(REUTERS) - For years, Mr Dilip Kumar's hands were his livelihood.

Making auto parts for cars in this factory in India's Haryana state.

But the very job that sustained him crippled him for life, when his right-hand fingers were mangled by a faulty plastic moulding machine.

"Now I can merely give directions and have to depend on others to get the work done. Before I could do everything myself. I can't even hold a pair of scissors so I have to rely on others to get the work done," said Mr Kumar.

He isn't the only victim of India's auto industry. A new report by NGO, Agrasar, says more than 1000 similar incidents occur each year, most to workers under 23-years-old.

It's been blamed on a lack of training, safety inspections and poor machine maintenance.

As factories find cheap ways to keep oiling the wheel of India's booming car industry.

"They are asked straight away to work on machines that they can't operate, then they make a mistake and have these accidents. There are no safety mechanisms," said Agrasar founder Prerit Rana.

Major vehicle makers claim the problem lies with the small-time contractors, more of which are likely to be needed in the future - General Motors is launching ten new vehicles manufactured in India over the next five years.

By 2020, the country's likely to become the world's third-largest auto market.