Migrant workers contribute significantly in the development of city and the nation but most of these ‘city-makers’ live in pathetic condition in urban slums where they are deprived of basic amenities like a like safe house, safe drinking water, dignified sanitation facility, absence of social security, etc. In such situation, education of children does not remain their priority. Their children therefore, fall prey to child labour, child marriage and abuse in various forms. So, when Prayatn started working for education of children of migrant workers living in urban slums of Jaipur, Surat and Gwalior under the Community Transformation Hub project with financial support of LIC Housing Finance Limited, it decided to organize interface of the migrant workers with public servants so that the they are able to raise their problems and get them resolved.
First such “Government-Community Interface” in Surat city has been organized at Prabuddha Mahabuddha Vihar Charitable Trust, Vadod, Pandesara (Surat) on December 20, 2022. Assistant Project Officer- Mr Amit Kumar and Shiksha Mitras- Mr Rajbhar Jugnu and Ms Manisha Sonawane facilitated the dialogue between the government officials and the community of Budh Vihar Area, where one of the 10 remedial centres is being run for the settlement children of Surat under the auspices of LIC HFL. Dignitaries who graced the occasion included Mr. Banshu Yadav, Ward Member (locally called Corporator), Dr. Pinky Gawade – Medical Officer from Health Department, Mr Vijay Verma – member District Child Protection Unit, Mr. S. K. Bharia- PHW officer from Surat Municipal Corporation, Hon. Capt. Krunal Deshbhartar- Chairman of All India SC, ST Employees Welfare Association (ONGC) and Mr Lal Bahadur Gautam- Head of Prabuddha Mahabuddha Vihar Charitable Trust.
The major issues raised by members of Pravaasi Shramik Vikas Samiti who represented migrant workers involved blocked sewage, waste accumulation and school admission. Mr Banshu assured the community about cleaning the filth and disinfecting it with the spray of DDT. Mr S K Bharia on the occasion, rendered awareness on the need to separate dry and wet waste to carry out proper mode of waste disposal. In the vogue of rising COVID cases, Dr Pinky reminded the crowd of the 7 steps of handwashing and urged ladies and children to take advantage of the free health services of Govt. Hospitals.
Towards the end of the event, Capt. Deshbhartar brought smiles on the faces of children by distributing books, pencils, pens and bags to them. The event helped in the reducing their hesitation of migrant workers in raising their voices in front of government officials making them feel that the government is of them and for them. It also rendered hope to them that their issues will be resolved soon if they raise their voices in proper manner.