Blog

Destination support to migrants

The problems of migrant workers are most complex and pressing in urban labour markets where they are forced to live and work in highly congested conditions. Aajeevika Bureau operates in two of the largest cities of Gujarat - Ahmedabad and Surat. In Rajasthan, we are present in Jaipur - the largest labour market of the state and its state capital. Work here extends to construction workers, head-loaders and waste pickers.

Aajeevika Bureau also has an active presence in North Gujarat (Idar) which is a receiving region of agricultural labour from Rajasthan. This is rural destination area where migrant farm labour works in dispersed groups across vast tracts of a fertile agriculture region.

In our destinations operations we have undertaken large-scale outreach and mobilisation among migrant workers thus reaching otherwise "invisible" groups. Our centres in destinations help migrant workers link with essential services and support. Several collectives of migrant workers have been promoted in cities which provide them a platform for self help and solidarity. Linkages with health services and banking facilities help reduce the migrants burdens in the cities. Legal aid and counselling of workers facing non-payment of wages or unfair labour practices help in overcoming the exploitation of unorganised workers. In North Gujarat where the work is focused mainly on migrant farm workers, we have attempted to enforce formal agreements between farmers and workers and create an environment to resolve the frequent conflicts between them.

Within the purview of its destination work, Aajeevika Bureau is also undertaking primary health counselling and treatment linkages for migrant workers unable to access public health facilities. In Ahmedabad, we have achieved a major breakthrough in setting up community kitchens for migrants, who are usually forced to purchase fuel at exorbitant prices from the black market and cook in unhygienic environments.