Kristu Jayanti College, Bengaluru, a UNAI hub for SDG: Goal 1 in India, in commemoration of the international day for eradication of poverty, organized a two day campaign on #Sip right, live bright to educate the migrant laborers in the city on the necessity of utilizing clean water sources. The campaign which began on 16th October at multiple migrant settlements was concluded with a special orientation program for the migrant children on 17th October at 4.30. The campaign was an outcome of a remarkable endeavor undertaken by sixty postgraduate students of the college, in their ongoing efforts, to make a difference at the grassroots level. With a commitment to understanding, advocating, and initiating dialogue, these students have taken up the challenge of addressing the often-overlooked plight of internal migrants in India. Recognizing the complexity of poverty and migration in India, these students adopted a multifaceted approach that combines research, advocacy, and dialogue.
In the preliminary stage, students conducted several researches to identify the core issues at different migrant settlements. “In our study, we delved into the portability of drinking water, and the findings are quite concerning. Shockingly, in our initial tests, most of the water samples we examined were contaminated,” opined Ms. Sharon Mary, II-year MSc Microbiology student. The students’ passion and commitment to their projects are not only a testament to the power of education but also a shining example of how young individuals can drive positive change in society. In the second phase, the students designed awareness campaigns based on the research findings. “In light of their extensive field observations and in commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, our students executed a campaign to empower the migrant laborers to access and effectively utilize safe and clean water sources. This initiative seeks to educate migrants on purifying water independently, by employing the sand filtration method & boiling or solar disinfection,” opined Dr. Augustine George CMI, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College. Through live demonstrations students explained to them the usage of each element and encouraged them to utilize these purifying mechanisms. The campaign also encouraged the participants to utilize the state government kiosks for drinking water, as the government takes utmost care in providing drinking water with affordable rates.
Students training the migrant laborers, the water purification process as part of the campaign
As part of this initiative, students from other disciplines have delved into various key other areas, including analyzing the youth tech adoption, employment stability among the internal migrants, emotional well-being, financial literacy, substance use, digital safety awareness, availability of food and nutrition, and women’s chore-life balance in these settlements. All these researches provide us a grassroots level understanding of issues directly affecting the internal migrant communities, emphasizing the need for multifaceted support. “The major findings of these studies are published as a book titled, ‘Indian Internal Migrant Dynamics: A Multidisciplinary Approach. And the efforts of these students and the book is truly a testament to the potential of higher education institutions to drive positive change in the neighborhood.” opined Dr. Juby Thomas, who envisioned this initiative.
photo courtesy: Yang Tsomo