Kochi

Livelihood innovation plan for migrant workers being explored

Efforts are on to draw up a livelihood innovation plan for migrants in the second phase of the ‘Let’s Reach Out Kerala’ initiative, which was launched in the district a fortnight ago.

The project is being run by Atithi Devo Bhava, a migrant welfare project under the Ernakulam unit of the National Health Mission (NHM) in association with the Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation of School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

In the first phase during the lockdown, the initiative had reached out to nearly 15,000 stranded migrants across the State using a network of 200 volunteers.

“Our students will attempt to come up with such a plan based on their interactions with multiple stakeholders, including migrants, employers and State officials. For them, it is a fieldwork training offering them a hands-on learning platform on how issues related to migrant workers are being dealt with while also giving them an opportunity to actively contribute towards a more inclusive and equitable system, said Devisha Sasidevan, Assistant Professor, TISS, Mumbai.

Students are likely to suggest ideas and changes if something is not working, and help identify strong points of migrant workers, enhancing the effectiveness of official interventions.

Healthcare and livelihood assessment of migrant workers remain the priorities of the second phase of the initiative.

Call centre

Six students of social work from TISS, Mumbai, are in the city, while one student is working remotely, for associating with the project as part of their larger academic field work.

They were key in setting up a call centre as part of the Atithi Devo Bhava project’s initiative of linking NGOs in the district such as Kismat offering support to migrant workers returning to the State.

The centre addresses doubts of migrant workers and contractors on various formalities to be complied with on returning to Kerala like registering with the Atithi portal, and ensuring quarantine space.

The students being engaged are proficient in Hindi, Assamese, Marathi, Bengali, Bihari and Bhojpuri, enabling them to converse with migrants in their regional languages.

“Efforts are on to scale up the number of volunteers and even draw up a list of frequently asked questions,” said Dr. Akhil Xavier Manuel, nodal officer of Atithi Devo Bhava project.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 10:45:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/livelihood-innovation-plan-for-migrant-workers-being-explored/article32904682.ece

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