BIS #7064 Networking for Migrants by Suraksha Migrants’ Desk Vadodara

By Fr Bosco Carvalho for BISMumbai

The Suraksha Migrants Desk Vadodara organised a Migrant Networking Meeting in Vadodara on 16 September, 2023. The Chief Speaker and Resource Person was the Joint Secretary of DBYaR Forum's National Office, Fr Francis Bosco. 21 individuals from different Government Organisations and Non-Government Organisations participated in this meeting. 

Fr Francis Bosco visited Don Bosco Snehalaya, Barida, and gave a brief talk on social analysis and its importance in social activism. He presented his own social analysis of the situation in India, which focused on hundreds of thousands of deprived individuals living in inhuman conditions. He also met with the person in charge, coordinator and staff of Suraksha Migrants Desk Vadodara to discuss strategies and key areas to focus on in the coming months. 

The Suraksha Migrants Desk Vadodara team organised a Migrants Networking Meeting at Cafe Local, Manjalpur. The guests included the Vadodara District Child Protection Officer, Mr Amit Vasava, representatives from NGOs, and representatives from Parul University and School Trustees. These work in Vadodara, Surat and Ahmedabad. The guests introduced their areas of expertise and scope of work in their respective organisations. Ms Sheetal Baptist, the coordinator of the Suraksha Migrants’ Desk Vadodara, made a presentation on the focus and activities done by the Desk in the past 6 months. 

The Chief Speaker, Fr Bosco, with his expertise as a former DCPO (Designated Child Protection Officer) in Tamil Nadu and currently a member of the Migrants Advisory Committee in Tamil Nadu, addressed the gathering on the importance of knowing the Constitutional laws with respect to labour. He decried the fact that there are no laws in the country pertaining to migrants or the unorganised sector. He shared his experience of pioneering his work for migrants in Tamil Nadu for eight years. He requested the gathering to be open to networking with each other. 

The participants came up with suggestions and strategies and fixed deadlines too. This included mapping the demographics of migrants, providing housing facilities and educational opportunities, forming trade unions, and including the Labour Commissioner in this area. The Suraksha Migrants Desk Vadodara team would facilitate a WhatsApp group in terms of activities, communications, and future networking and advocacy meetings. 

The Migrants Meeting saw collaboration among different government and non-government organisations due to the diligence of Ms Baptist and Ms Hiral Rajwadi. Ms Anamika Singh, a member of the NGO Prayas, mentioned, "This is a beautiful venture, and we need to closely collaborate with each other to uplift the cause of migrants." 

It was a proud moment to wear a badge that read ‘I Stand 4 Migrants’. The entire gathering committed themselves to stand for the cause of migrants and helping them get decent and humane living conditions.