Large numbers of people from the rural areas of South Rajasthan migrate to adjoining states in search of a better livelihood. Migration of these young men is leading to economic disparity, exploitation of the young men at destination, and several other risks like HIV/AIDS. This is a major challenge in the districts of Rajsamand and Bhilwada.
The Railmagra area of Rajsamand is said to be one of the districts with low human development indicators in Rajasthan. Underdevelopment of agriculture and lack of alternative employment opportunity in the villages are the main reasons for migration. Economic fragility forces rural households to send their able members to urban areas for employment to supply the meager agricultural income.
The Raipur block of Bhilwada district, adjacent to Railmagra also witnesses a trend of high migration. According to a study conducted by Jatan in five panchayats of Raipur block, approximately 50% of the families are migrants with 2710 migrant labours. A large number of migrants from this area travel to Ahmedabad from this block.
Migrant Support & Resource Center in Railmagra
Jatan Sansthan has been designated by the State Employment and Migration Bureau as the bureau for Railmagra block of Rajsamand district. For this purpose, Jatan established a Migrant Support & Resource Centre at Railmagra block in 2008. This centre undertakes regular registration of migrants, especially of the young ones, provides them with counselling at destination and supports rehabilitation on their return to their villages. These services also include provision of a photo identity card, short-term vocational training programmes, placement opportunities and counselling on legal and career-related issues. The centre tries to identify migrant youth and build their capacity so they can better deal with the various problems they face during migration.
Shramik Sahayata Evam Sandarbh Kendra (3SK)
Jatan Sansthan established Shramik Sahayata Evam Sandarbh Kendra (3SK) in order to reach a larger part of the migrant population. In order to strengthen the organizational capacity of providing services Jatan also extended the outreach of the 3SK to migrants of Raipur block of Bhilwada and Rajsamand block by establishing mini- and sub- centres. Due to that, 1041 migrants have already been registered and issued photo-identities, against the target of reaching out to 1500.
The 3SK’s services focus on building livelihood skills, facilitating placement of migrant youth in various trades, providing pre-departure counselling and assisting them with legal advice. A labour collective was founded and capacity building was conducted to it. Efforts are also put towards addressing the occupational and other health needs of the migrants as well of their families and of returnee migrants.
Jatan has been able to build capacity of 7 para-health workers. Meetings, workshops and a reproductive-health-camp are and were conducted to raise awareness of migrant youth and families on health issues.
Building the skills of the migrant youth, promoting unity among them through collectives, addressing occupational and other health needs, and sensitizing and advocating migrant rights to stakeholders have been the key ideas of intervention. The project has been relevant in improving the low status of migrant labourers in the project area.