Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

Facilitating migrant workers’ access to healthcare: Sampark

Sampark is working to improve living standards by increasing livelihood opportunities for migrant construction workers in Bangalore. Sampark is presently working in 26 labour colonies in Bangalore, and aims to reach out to 5000 construction workers over a period of three years. Health is one of the major thrust areas for Sampark’s intervention. Migrant workers do not have easy access to healthcare facilities are a highly vulnerable population, and it thus becomes important to generate awareness about health precautions and connect them to healthcare providers.

The Sampark Strategy

health camp for migrant construction workers

Migrant construction workers at the Sampark Health Camp

  • Identifying local public health centres and Aganwadi centres
  • Conducting health awareness programmes in labour colonies, during which migrant construction workers are briefed about general and environmental hygiene, as well as personal hygiene and its impacts on health.
  • Conducting health camps and assisting with referral cases.  Health camps were conducted with the support of government doctors in order to create a rapport between workers and the local government doctors. During the health camps, special and serious cases were identified, and with

    It is vital to develop connections between migrants and local government healthcare workers, so that in the future migrants are able to access these services with ease.

    follow-up support from the field staff of WRC these cases were followed through to local hospitals, and were examined by specialists. Sampark also followed up with the BBMP staff to ensure that they sprayed mosquito repellent in the labour colonies.
  • Identifying local shramik mitras to assist referral patients and to take them to hospitals to sustain the support activities intiated.
  • Conducting awareness training on HIV/AIDS. Due to the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS training, the team organized competitions and games such as volleyball, cricket and carom for male workers, and rangoli for female workers. Once the competitions were over, the team requested

    Using ice-breakers like games and competitions, helps put participants at ease in workshop settings while dealing with stigmatized topics such as HIV/AIDS. 

    everyone to gather together, and in this gathering the trainer asked those present about the issues that they generally face in the labour colonies. If they come up with any health issues, the trainer then asks them general and complicated questions regarding health issues. If the workers themselves talk about HIV/AIDS, the trainer takes the discussion forward by giving information and creating awareness about HIV/AIDS by showing movies and charts related to the topic. This strategy helps in easing the situation by putting them at ease, and able to speak freely about HIV/AIDS and approaching patients.


Health Awareness Drive and Health Camps, May 2015

health camp Sampark May

Migrant construction workers assembling for the Sampark Health Camp, May 2015.

Health Awareness Drives and Health Camps were conducted at JMC FLC Project, Kanakapura Road, Konanakunte cross, and Mahaveer Reddy labour sites during the month of May 2015. Dr. Sudhakar, a government medical officer participated in the program.

Migrant workers' health camp

A government health official treats migrant workers at the Sampark health camp

Dr. Sudhakar introduced participants, mainly migrant construction workers, to the basics of general health, hygiene and communicable diseases. He also examined 191 patients and distributed free medicines. Most of these patients were suffering from general health issues such as fever, cold, lower back ache, cough, anemia, gastric problems, etc. One child, 11 years old, was identified as potentially suffering from leprosy, and was referred to a specialized hospital in Bangalore for diagnosis and further treatment.

health camp for migrant workers

Dr Sudhakar treats a patient; one of many migrant workers who received free treatment and medication at the health camp held by Sampark.



Dr Sudhakar briefs migrant construction workers about general health and hygiene.

Dr Sudhakar briefs migrant construction workers about general health and hygiene.

Radhika M. Chakraborty

Radhika M. Chakraborty

Radhika M Chakraborty has completed a degree in English Literature from Delhi University and a Master's degree in Women's Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her research interests include gender and migration, diasporas, Partition, internal displacement and Sindhi culture.
Radhika M. Chakraborty

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