Arise staff travelled to Himachal Pradesh in northern India to meet some of the families benefitting from Arise’s new project for migrant communities. These families are working in abject conditions, with no provisions for healthcare, education or safety.

A child plays near the construction site where his family are labouring

A child plays near the construction site where his family are labouring

Our Arise India Coordinator visited one construction site in Solan, situated 250 feet above a town, where migrants were living and working in perilous conditions. They are already being exploited, working for basically nothing and with no access to rights or healthcare, and are at huge risk of further exploitation and trafficking.

A typical migrant kitchen and bedroom

A typical migrant kitchen and bedroom. Often the cooking equipment will be shared by two or more families

These families all live on site, often in temporary shacks made up of a single room. Many families have to share cooking facilities, with no access to running water.

Migrant women in the living room shared by five families.

Migrant women and their youngest children in the living space shared by five families.

The living conditions are incredibly cramped, with several families having to share a living space no larger than a hallway. Their children commonly do not attend school, and often end up working on the construction site as soon as they are able to.

Migrant children attend an informal school near their parents' construction sites.

Migrant children attend an informal school near their parents’ construction sites. The project is teaching them literacy and numeracy. 

The Arise Migrant Project is working closely with this community to provide them with education, access to healthcare, economic and civil rights (such as family food ration cards) as well as sensitising them to the risks of trafficking and further exploitation.

Migrant women working with a sewing machine provided by the Arise Foundation

Migrant women working with a sewing machine provided by the Arise Foundation. They sell the clothes made to help support their families.

They have also provided the women with sewing machines that they can use to supplement their family’s income. These machines are crucial in allowing them to work while still supervising their children.

Work has only just started with these communities, and will soon extend to healthcare, rights education and facilitating their access to basic social and economic rights. We are excited to see how this centre can help these incredibly marginalised people over the next few years.