The Covid-19 pandemic brought to light the pathetic condition of migrants across India. The sporadic and need based response to the plight of migrants were aimed at addressing issues only from the periphery. This experience gave impetus to understand the undercurrent and more serious issues that trigger and direct the course of the migrants.
DB4M, India (Don Bosco for Migrants, India) had set up 13 Migrant Help Desks in 12 Provinces of India with the help of Bosconet to study effectively the world of the migrants, to collect data of migrant workers and their families to understand better the target group and to draw an action plan for Don Bosco Migrant Work in both source and destination locations.
Migrant Desk, Hyderabad, allotted a helpline number to receive the calls from migrants, answer queries and render possible support. A mega Covid-19 vaccination drive was conducted in the month of September for migrants, belonging mostly to the labour class, as they could not secure vaccines for the simple reason that they were not locals. A series of awareness programmes on health, hygiene, vaccinations, education and social entitlements (aadhaar, e-shram) were carried out at regular intervals in various locations of the city, mostly in slums.
Child labour and school dropouts are two predominant issues that came to the forefront to be dealt with effectively. On a trial basis, a learning centre in a slum (under a tree) was started with 15 migrant children who belong to a community from Maharashtra that moved to Hyderabad in search of work – they sell bracelets and necklaces made of beads at traffic signals. The children in this centre are provided with basic education in their own mother tongue (of the migrants).
The journey of Don Bosco with the migrants continues, to ensure their safety, well- being and dignity.
The Don Bosco Network in India comprises of 11 Planning and Development Organisations (PDOs), each dedicated to the development of the Salesian provinces they serve. The Don Bosco network is spread across 29 states and 354 NGOs, reaching more than 10 lakh people.
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