Migration Narratives: The SHRAM Blog

Making the migrant ‘Saksham’-MMC’s success story

Migrant construction workers living in Mumbai are one of the most vulnerable communities of city’s urban poor. Maharashtra has a share of 10.75 percent of construction workers out of a total 3.7 million migrant workers. Mumbai (suburban) alone has 1.2 million migrant workers, out of which 9.12 percent are construction workers. Considering the fact that majority of the migrant workers are in the informal sector and thus outside the purview of administration, these numbers represent a minuscule share of a more humongous group.

Mumbai Mobile Creches is a well-established organisation that aims to transform child care arrangements and services, especially those living with their families on construction sites. An important aspect of MMCs’ work is its ‘Saksham’ program with migrant workers and their families. ‘Saksham’ address issues regarding health and financial inclusion, and facilitates training in skilled trades like plumbing and electrical work for men and home management for women. It is a professional course that helps women from construction workers’ community  who currently work as house maids.We help them to gain advance skills in cooking and use of electronic home appliances through home management training hoping to raise their earnings.. Here, we share a success story of our skill building initiative.

A New Beginning!

While growing up in the village of Pardi, Yawatmal district of Maharashtra, Pramod* (now 25 years) had to leave school during the 4th standard to assist his father who was an agricultural labourer. At the age of 12, he decided to follow his brother, who had been working at a construction site in Mumbai, in search of better-paying work to support his family.

Being underage, Pramod couldn’t get a construction job initially, so he started to work in a canteen at the construction site. For years to follow, he continued this work until his brother helped him become an assistant to a plumber on site securing him an income of rupees 6,000 every month. At the construction site, he learned about MMC’s vocational training programme from MMC’s advocacy team and enrolled in the course. During the course, Pramod who was now 24 years old proved to be a quick learner. Formal training through this course supplemented practical experience he gained on the job. Certificate obtained on successful completion of the course, helped him boost his earnings to 7,500 rupees per month.

After gaining six months of work experience as a trained plumber, MMC’s advocacy team encouraged Pramod to qualify as a plumbing trainer at the Institute for Design of Electrical Measuring Instruments (IDEMI). He was interested in becoming a trainer, but was nervous about his formal interview at IDEMI – his first interview ever! MMC’s advocacy team built his moral, coached him on the interviewing process, and Pramod cleared IDEMI’s interview successfully.

Apart from his regular plumbing work, he is now a freelance trainer of the plumbing course for IDEMI and has trained two batches in the last ten months. He enjoys his training job very much as it has given him the perfect opportunity to use his skills and share them with others. Receiving formal training and a certificate has greatly improved Pramod’s life so he hopes that more unskilled labourers will also take advantage of similar training opportunities. This former canteen boy is sincerely grateful to MMC for promoting the cause of struggling labourers like him and providing them with opportunities to improve and secure their future. He believes that without MMC’s continued guidance and encouragement, he would not be where he is today.

*The name has been changed to protect person’s privacy.

Aritra Chakrabarty

Aritra Chakrabarty

Anchor, SHRAM (Till Dec 31st, 2014)

As a social researcher, I believe in knowledge-based policy action. With a postgraduate degree in Development Studies, I've been associated with social issues in my professional space. As a part of SHRAMIC initiative, was involved with data creation, sourcing of resources that will become the knowledge bank of this project.
Aritra Chakrabarty

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