In August, Arise launched a new project to assist vulnerable migrants in five locations across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Implemented by the Bethany Sisters, this project is estimated to reach at least 3745 of the lowest caste families, who lack any other support. On August 7th Arise was delighted to open the first centre in Bathinda, Punjab. Overseen by Sr. Priyanjali, they have already started education programmes and begun rights advocacy.

Children served by the community centre at the opening, 7th August 2018

Children served by the community centre at the opening, 7th August 2018

India has over 139 million internal migrants, with the northern states massively over represented. They are employed in informal, low-paying, hazardous jobs, such as in quarries and kilns and have no political representation. With little access to government services such as healthcare and education, many live in slums facing extreme daily discrimination. The migrant community as a whole are incredibly vulnerable and at extreme risk of abuse, exploitation, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Sr Priyanjali overseeing the centre's opening ceremony

Sr Priyanjali overseeing the centre’s opening ceremony

Each of the five centres will conduct threefold interventions: education, empowerment and reintegration. They will assist individuals in applying for state benefits, educating individuals on their employment rights, providing literacy education and assisting children enter formal education.

Arise is confident that this project with produce concrete change that will echo down the generations. We are looking forward to the further four centres opening later this month.