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IOM-UN Migration and Shahi Exports Join Hands to Facilitate Safe Migration through Migrant Support Centre

According to the Economic Survey, India's interstate labor migration, which accounted for 17% to 29% of the labor force between 2001 and 2011, averaged between 5 and 6 million people per year. It is estimated that migrant workers' related migration and other activities contribute 10% of India's GDP. The families, native communities, and destination states and communities that benefit from these activities are positive externalities. The textile and garment industries, which rely heavily on labor, demonstrate some of their contributions. This sector, which includes numerous small, medium, and large businesses, has expanded at an exponential rate from domestic production to participation in export-oriented global supply chains, resulting in employment opportunities for a wide range of skill sets across the nation.


 


However, Indian internal migration is fraught with difficulties. Most of these issues can be addressed at the origination, which is the transition period between migrants moving away from their home towns and settling in a new location.


 


The Worldwide Association for Movement (IOM), on 30th September 2022, marked a MoU with Shahi Products to help and help transient laborers through the institutional structure of a Traveler Backing Center (MSC). Since 2021, India's largest apparel manufacturer, Shahi Exports, has run the MSC for migrants working in Bengaluru's various industries. Nearly 4,000 migrants are served by it at the moment. IOM will support the Shahi-run MSC in Bengaluru by providing technical and advisory assistance as part of this partnership. Working conditions, access to legal entitlements, social security, health care, education, and vocational skills will all be improved with the help of IOM, which will also empower migrant workers and understand the challenges faced by interstate and intrastate migrant workers in urban settings. As the project's design partner, GBL visited existing MSCs to learn about the services they provide and whether there are any gaps between migrants' experiences and the support they receive.


 


Sanjay Awasthi, IOM's head of office, made the observation that such a collaboration would benefit not only migrant workers and their employers but also the social and economic development of migrants' source and destination states, and ultimately India as a whole, by leveraging the strengths of multiple stakeholders across the supply chain. It is absolutely necessary for partners in the supply chain to play a role in ensuring the welfare of migrant workers in order to lessen these dangers and intensify the socioeconomic benefits of internal migration.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that migrant workers are also particularly susceptible to crises and disasters.


 


As a result of Shahi Exports' COVID-19 relief efforts, which included facilitating vaccination drives, offering free phone consultations with ophthalmologists, providing information services on preventative measures, making transportation available, and providing food rations to migrant workers, MSC was born.


 


“To resolve issues that migrants face in the garment industry and other sectors, the MSC provided shelter, utility support, medical assistance, financial literacy, legal literacy, and toll-free redressal numbers. We were aided by helpful feedback from the center's beneficiaries, and the lessons learned from our initial effort give us confidence to expand MSC to 10,000 migrants by 2025. A model that can provide migrants with the support they require in a new city or town will be developed through our multi-stakeholder partnership with IOM, which will combine their global perspective with the expertise of on-the-ground partners, such as state government wings like the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS).


Shahi Exports' Head of Organizational Development, Anant Ahuja, has helped the International Organization for Migration (IOM) set up and run a number of centers for migrants around the world. "These centers (also known as Migrant Resource Centers) serve as a source of information and support to migrants at either their destination or source locations and further promote greater social inclusion and interaction," stated Amit Chowdhury, National Officer, IOM India. In order to guarantee the safe and secure mobility of migrant workers, the partnership between IOM and Shahi would continue to collaborate with other institutionalized stakeholders—both governmental and non-governmental—directly or indirectly involved in the facilitation of migration-related issues.


 


 


Shahi's story:


Mrs. Sarla Ahuja started Shahi Exports in 1974 after working as a sewing machine operator in a nearby factory. The family-owned business has since grown to become the largest apparel manufacturer and exporter in India. Shahi employs over 115,000 people across nine Indian states in three fabric processing mills and 50 cutting-edge apparel manufacturing facilities. More details: About IOM: https://shahi.co.in/


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a United Nations organization that helps governments and migrants, including refugees, internally displaced people, and migrant workers, with migration issues. The IOM works in four main areas of managing migration: addressing forced migration, regulating migration, facilitating migration, and development To Continue: https://www.iom.int

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