Staff delivering legal counselling to a migrant family-PEPUS, Uttar Pradesh
Migrants being given training in catering management- Aajeevika Bureau, Rajasthan
Migrant labour discuss their issues in a meeting- PRAYAS, Rajasthan
Skill building activity in sewing and embroidery for migrant women - PEPUS, Uttar Pradesh
A capacity building meeting with women co-operative members - SEWA, Gujarat
1. Internal Migration
This thematic area examines the ever-increasing population pressure and the consequent worsening land-man ratios everywhere. Given the stagnant productivity of the land, unequal industrialisation across the country and the demand for cheap labour in regions with a sound infrastructure, migration is an economically inevitable reality. The effort therefore, is directed towards making the process of migration more humane and productive. Over the last few years, the Trusts have expanded their activities in the field of seasonal migration. They now reach over 1 lakh migrants through 34 partners working in eight states, with a special focus on Rajasthan, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.
The Trusts have adopted a three-pronged approach, in which they play the role of a catalyst.
Implementation: Tata Trust Migrant Support Programme
The objective of this programme is to raise the incomes and savings of migrant households, thereby contributing to their financial security, wellbeing, social and family support structures. The programme will target 3 lakh migrants through 83 source and destination level centres over the next three years, while consolidating the work in existing centres. A ‘Centre for Labour and Migration Solutions’ has been set up with the Aajeevika Bureau to provide technical support to partners under this programme.
Advocacy: National Coalition of Organisations for Security of Migrant Workers (NCOSMW)
The Trusts have helped create the Coalition by bringing together like-minded individuals and organisations. However, the Trusts have chosen not to be a member of the Coalition as the advocacy agenda should be determined by the implementers themselves. This is a country-wide coalition of civil society organisations, activists, researchers and academicians committed to improving the wellbeing of labour migrants in India. It serves as a broad forum to educate the public, governments and industry; to implement coordinated plans of action; and to share informative experiences that arise from the growing work with migrant workers and their communities.
Research: Migration Research Initiative
Given the dearth of data, there is little or no research available to inform policy or build a case for the inclusion of migrants in the existing policy framework. Possible areas of exploration include support of systematic, sustained research on the significance of migration to the economy, and the socio-political impact of migration on people. In the coming years, the rate of migration is expected to increase. This will call for policies and approaches to reduce regional and sector-based balances in development; appropriate policies for recipient areas; policies to support seasonal migrants, etc. Hence there is a need for the generation and dissemination of credible information on migration to facilitate informed decisions.
2. Informal Sector Livelihoods
Under the thematic area of ‘Livelihoods for the Urban Poor’, the aim is to reduce the vulnerability of the informal sector groups such as home-based workers, vendors, rag-pickers, conservancy workers, domestic workers, construction workers, etc. Through setting up institutional structures, these groups will be able to move up the value chain as well as be in a better position to negotiate with the government and society at large.
The Trusts expect that their nascent engagement with occupational groups, like domestic workers, street vendors and workers in solid waste management tasks in cities, will evolve into a sustained programme. Domestic workers are of great assistance in the management of a very large number of urban households. Yet, they are subject to abysmal working conditions, often characterised by a complete lack of social security and the absence of basic facilities. Similarly, street vendors provide easy access to essential goods but live in constant fear of harassment and eviction. Home-based workers have skills but are constrained by low volumes, access to and knowledge of markets. People working at various levels in the waste management system face the dual challenge of unsanitary working conditions and caste dynamics, while being almost invisible. The Trusts supported a nationwide survey on the status of manual scavenging in the country, the outcomes of which have prompted action from the NAC and the Ministry of Social Justice.
The Trusts support various forms of informal organisation such as collectives, unions, cooperatives, and urge them to move towards self-sufficient models. The purpose of such organisations may vary from uniting to address issues of common concern and collective bargaining for better access to services, to generating livelihood options and improving incomes.
3. Urban Planning and Governance
The key challenges under the Urban Governance theme are socio-political and involve the visibility, security and acceptance of the hitherto unrecognised, insecure poor citizens. Such inclusion demands that cities which have been planned and governed under colonial norms, prepare themselves to work on issues related to the urban poor. This calls for the complex process of major policy changes at multiple levels. The Trusts have supported efforts by organisations involved in the socio-economic survey and livelihoods of the slum communities as part of the slum rehabilitation process of the government. Besides that, they have funded pilots on district planning processes in peri-urban regions.
The Trusts’ are engaged in projects that deal with different facets of the process of urban redevelopment. Technical and financial assistance, guidance and follow-up procedures by NGOs are necessary to facilitate the smooth rehabilitation of slum dwellers. These interventions include initiating: educational programmes, income-generating activities, solid waste/environmental management, balwadis, education programme for women and children, registration of cooperatives, etc.
Employability refers to a person's capability to gain initial employment, stay employed, and obtain new employment, if required. In India, a sizable portion of the population enters the workforce every year. Most of these people lack the skill set being demanded by the growing market. Hence, arises the need for interventions that will enhance employability and income generation. This will give individuals equitable opportunity and purchasing power, and thereby leverage our demographic dividend. There are different models of delivery: Residential/Non-residential; One-month/Six-month-long; free or fully paid; fulltime/part-time faculty; wage employment/self-employment oriented; based in remote locations/near industrial hubs; single-trade/multiple-trade focused, etc. The Trusts intend to support appropriate models that link marginalised youth with livelihoods in a manner that is sustainable and in tandem with the economic trends and market requirements. Preference will be given to models which move towards self-sufficiency and focus on under-served areas. Both wage employment and self-employment will be important channels through which the income and livelihood aspirations of these groups can be met.