On 2 nd and 3 rd of September 2023, DB4M(YaR) organized an exposure programme to facilitate understanding of strategies and intervention towards Intra and Inter-State Migrants in Chennai, Tiruvalluvar, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu districts in Tamilnadu.
DB4M Staff members from all our Provinces and collaborating congregations including Holy cross sisters, SVDs, and Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters actively took part in this unique exposure programme in Chennai; the highlight of this exercise is the one on one direct interaction with migrants and stakeholders during the two day intensive field observation .
2 nd September 2023, started with Holy Eucharist in the morning, followed by the discussion with the various unorganized workers trade unions in Citadel, Chennai, including Tamilnadu domestic workers federation, Fishermen’s union, unorganized workers federation, Samyukta Kisan Morcha, Annai illam, Pengal urimai iyyakkam. After the interaction the team went around visiting the allied government departments for migration; interaction with Dr.Manivelan, Occupational Health and Safety, DMS, Chennai, Mr.Nirmal, Social Welfare Officer, TNUHDB, Mr. Darwin, TNUHDB slum officer, Perumbakkam were resourceful to gauge the migration issues and challenges.
The visiting delegates also directly met the Migrant workers involved in manufacturing sector at Mambakkam, Sriperumbdur, Kanchipuram district to observe, first hand, the living and working conditions of the migrant workers. DBMS’ pivotal strategy of having its desk, located in the very vicinity of the migrants and assisting them for their safety and protection was particularly appreciated.
3 rd September 2023, with the Holy Eucharist the team reached to Brick kilns in Tiruvalluvar district. The strategies and the education plan for the Odessa children were elaborated in discussion with the owners and the employees of Odessa brick kiln families.
Thanks to all the DB4M migrant desk Directors of the provinces for deputing their delegates to
attend in this fruitful exposure in understanding the implementation of migrant activities in INM province in 4 districts in Tamilnadu. Thanks to INM Provincial, Vice-Provincial, Fr.Simolin, Director Migrant desk, Fr.Lourdu and DBMS staff members for organizing this event in Chennai.
“Decent Work & Living Conditions for the Internal Migrants in India” was the guiding theme of the recently held National Migrants Workshop during 11 th & 12 th of July 2023, organized by the YaR Forum, SPCI, Delhi. Forty delegates from 21 Migrant Desks in Indian Provinces participated in this workshop. In addition, Migrant Desk Salesians, Staff and volunteers attended this meeting. Fr.Pauria INC Provincial Inaugurated the National Migrant Workshop on 11 th July 2023. Fr.Francis, CCBI, Kolkata and Fr.Suneel, INC Vice-provincial were the Key speakers during the inaugural function. All the delegates were welcomed with Bengali cultural tradition by Kolkata Province.
The two- day Migrant Workshop focused on the themes, “Challenges faced by the Migrants &
Unorganized workers in India” by Social Activist, Anruradha Talawal, “Occupational Health, Safety and Social Securities for the Migrants” by Divya Varma, and the Helpline services by India Labour Line, MAIN( Migrant Assistance & Information Network and DB4M Labor Line were addressed. Fr.Saji, Fr.Ratna and Mr.Rian, presented Status Paper of Migrants in Kerala, Andhra and Tamilnadu.
Afternoon sessions concentrated on the sharing of the Migrant Desks activities and plans. The
workshop concluded with a Way Forward action plans to optimize our migrant strategies including strengthening logistics, upgrading service delivery, capacity building, updated training modules, and networking, legal mediation and policy advocacy. Thanks to Fr.Provincial, Fr.Economer, Bro.Lawrance and Fr.Cheriatt for organizing this workshop in Kolkata.
Minutes of the consultation
Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu Society conducted a consultation to improve quality services to Migrants in Kerala. Major purpose of the consultation was to converge experience and expertise of stakeholders engaged in migrant services and to deliberate on the importance of networking to serve migrants. 44 persons who head various government departments and NGOs attended the consultation. Eight leaders represented migrant community in the district
11 Government Departments, namely, District Legal Service Authority, Labour Department, Centre for Development Studies, Child Welfare Committee, Railway Police Force, Police Department, Health Department, District Child Protection Unit, Childline, Mahilamandiram, and Vimukthi have contributed in the meeting.
Eleven Non-Government agencies attended the consultation. They are Don Bosco Veedu Society, Trivandrum Social Service Society, Malankara Social Service Society, Daleview, Sadan (Dream), Sebastian Indian Social Projects, Thanal, Migrant Extension Services – Loyola College, Advana, Hotel and Restaurant association and DoC.
Fr. Jiji Kalavanal, Rector of Don Bosco Veedu formally welcomed and Fr. Saji Elambasseril, Director of Don Bosco Veedu set the stage by sharing “The Migrant Landscape of Kerala”. Mr. S. Shamnad (Sub-Judge and Secretary DLSA) was the chief guest of the consultation. Fr. Francis Bosco, National Director, DB4M made a brief presentation on “Migrant Scenario in India” followed by Prof. (Dr) Praveena Kodoth, CDS Trivandrum, on “Importance of Networking to Serve Migrants Better” with evidences and data from across the country.
All stakeholders shared their views and recommendations to build strong networking to serve migrants in the group discussion moderated by Mr. A. V. George, Sr. Manager, Don Bosco. A core team was formed from the participants to further plan and schedule next round of consultation wherein all stakeholders who could not attend this meeting would be represented and engaged.
Major points and recommendations;
• How can the usage of drugs and substance be combatted among migrants? • Identification of existing resources available with civil society organizations and NGOs be collectively utilized for the welfare of migrants
Fr. Mathew Thomas – Salesian representative to UN, facilitated a way forward session enabling participants to finalyse future plan of action. The core committee will further consider and take it forward.
List of core committee members;
The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Manuel George, Program Manager, Don Bosco Veedu.
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KISMAT (Karnataka Interstate Migrant Alliance For Transformation) organized a free Medical Health Checkup for migrant workers engaged in daily casual labour, construction work, and domestic work from North Karnataka. This event took place on 13th and 20thAugust 2023 at Banjara Layout and Kalkere Main Road, Bangalore.
At the heart of the event were physical examinations conducted by the medical professionals. The doctors recommended a variety of health check-ups, tailored to each individual, to assess their overall health and identify potential issues at an early stage. Among the adult population, prevalent complaints encompassed back pain, knee pain, insufficient protein intake, low water consumption, skin allergies and anemia among females.
Approximately 139 migrant workers reaped the benefits of this health camp. However, a cause for concern arose as it came to light that migrant workers often lack regular check-ups. The KISMAT Karnataka arranged this medical camp with a noble goal-to raise awareness among underprivileged migrant workers. The challenge these workers face when attempting to access healthcare services are substantial, including language barriers, lack of proper documentation, and limited financial resources. These barriers prevent many migrant workers from obtaining necessary medical attention, potentially resulting in sever health complications.
Life Skills and Leadership Training for Migrant Workers was conducted by KISMAT (Karnataka Interstate Migrants Alliance for Transformation) at HBR Layout and Banjara Layout, Bangalore on 2nd and 18th July 2023. The programme started with welcoming the participants and resource person, Mr. Dhanashekar the General Secretary of Karnataka State Construction Workers Central Union (KSCWCU) affiliated to National Centre for Labour (N.C.L). A powerful session on Life Skills and Leadership Training was given to migrant workers belonging to three different communities who come from the district of Raichur, Gulbarga, Yadgiri and Bellary in the State of Karnataka. They are engaged in professions such as daily casual labour, construction work, driving and domestic work for the past four-five years in Bangalore.
The training was given on social-welfare schemes provided by Karnataka Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, which includes mobile hospital facilities, pension schemes, family pension schemes, handicap pension, training cum tool kit facility, maternity facility, competitive examination training, educational scholarship, pilot education for children, accident compensation, funeral allowances, accidental polices, emergency aid and free tool kits by government. Important emphasis was made on state legal aid service authority. Approximately 113 migrants participated in the programme.
The purpose of the programme was to train leaders of migrant communities, taking the lead in preventing migrant issues and sustaining themselves to fight for their rights. At the end of the session migrants took part in the interaction and clarified their doubts. Different possibilities to find solutions to the problems were discussed and decided upon.
The Don Bosco for Migrants (DB4M) online meeting was held on 16th June 2023, from 15:00 to 17:00 hrs. The meeting aimed to discuss various agenda items related to the DB4M project and foster collaboration among different provinces and stakeholders. This report provides a summary of the key discussions and outcomes of the meeting. The meeting began with a prayer seeking blessings and guidance, by Fr. Joseph Prabhu. After the self-introduction of the DB4M desk fathers and staff members, each province provided updates on the ongoing DB4M project interventions. Fr.Francis Bosco informed the group regarding the National Migrant consultation at Kolkata, DB4M 2023 half-yearly project submission by June 2023, Migrant Voice for the Voiceless programme on 12th and 13th of July 2023, Delhi and to promote DB4M Helpline number among stakeholders.
Participants had the opportunity to seek clarifications on project timelines, start and end dates, as well as raise concerns about the practical aspects of project implementation and also shared their challenges regarding migrant ministry. A clarion call was made regarding the ongoing ethnic cleansing and communal violence in Manipur since May 3, 2023, highlighting the need to connect destination migrant desks with dispossessed and displaced Manipuris seeking refuge in different cities and to provide integrated support including placement, housing and post trauma counselling. The meeting concluded on time, and Fr. Francis Bosco expressed gratitude to all participants for their active engagement, valuable contributions, and commitment to the cause of migrant welfare.