Central Hub of Migrant Assistance and Information Network Inaugurated
MAIN is envisaged for 12 states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa, apart from Delhi. MAIN will become functional with the respective state hubs coming into full operation.
The Central Hub of Migrant Assistance and Information Network (MAIN) was inaugurated at the Indian Social Institute (ISI), Delhi, 25 February. “MAIN is the outcome of long study, reflection, discernment and decision”, said Dr. Jerome Stanislaus D’Souza, President of the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA). He quoted Elizabeth Browning’s poem, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” Dr Stani added that it is important to see one who sees, judges and acts. Jesuits responded to the need of the hour during the time of pandemic, and a very conscious effort was made by the team while conceiving MAIN and many participated in the discussion to fashion it.
Launching the website of MAIN (www.mainindia.org), Dr. Joseph Xavier, Director, Indian Social Institute (ISI), Bengaluru, said, “the website will demonstrate a dream, passion and commitment. The end that we are visualising is to see the migrants having food on their table, children educated, then looking into their rights, entitlements, policies, laws, etc. This model can be seen as a commitment to make a change in the lives of the people, and we can align many different dimensions. If we can work on the economic development of the people, then it would be the rational way of working to generate real vehicles to reach out to the migrants.”
Dr Siji Chacko (Director, MAIN), said MAIN is the outcome of the felt-need for a concerted, collective and innovative response to reach out to the distress migrant labourers—inter-state and intra-state. It emerged in the context of the ongoing global pandemic and the related crisis. When the pandemic struck, many organisations including NGOs and CSOs, and individuals in various capacities extended support by providing assistance to the people at distress. Migrant workers who got held up in many cities without food and place to stay were also provided timely support by several Jesuit-led organisations across India”. Dr Chacko said that “MAIN is conceived as a network of NGOs/CSOs, institutions including academic like universities and research centres, alumni, government departments, etc.
Explaining in brief the MAIN model Dr Chacko shared that MAIN will establish a central helpline system, wherein distress migrants/his or her family member/close associate can call to seek critical assistance/information.
The team at the Central Hub in Delhi will assess the call received and transfer the information to the respective State Hub for further action and follow up. The team at the State Hub studies the matter, initiate response (service as required) to the caller (distress migrant), and prepares the first Action Taken Report (ATR), which would be updated on the dashboard at the Central Hub”. It was also shared that initially MAIN is envisaged for 12 states including Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa, apart from Delhi. MAIN will become functional with the respective state hubs coming into full operation.
Dr. Denzil Fernandes, Executive Director, ISI, Delhi, Dr. Paul D’Souza, Superior, ISI, Delhi. Fr. Shin Kallungal, Assistant Director, MAIN, Fr. Shajumon Chakkalakkal, Socius to President JCSA, Fr. Martin Pudussery, GIAN Migration Co-ordinator, Dr. Antony Dias, Secretary, SJES, and Fr. Stan, Socius to Pune Province attended the inaugural function held at ISI, Delhi.