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Working with the most vulnerable in Himachal Pradesh

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.

Arpan Carvalho, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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