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Love thy neighbour

IIT Delhi students’ initiative with UNHCR for the Burmese Refugees in India.

20th June is the world Refugee Day.Project “Aarambh” by Student of Free Interprise (SIFE),a non-profitable student group of IIT Delhi, have taken up the initiative to voluntarily work to uplift the Burmese Refuge Community residing in India .This group was formed in July 2010 and since then they have been working closely with the Burmese refuge community in Delhi. The UN Refuge Agency of India (UNHCR) is also helping the students with the project.

The Students have taken up the cause especially for the Burmese People after doing an extensive research and found this idea to be the most challenging one. They found out that Burmese immigrants from a foreign land, most of them being illegal refugees are not subject to any rights and laws by the government

They are currently working on giving legal protection, work permits, education and
the challenges they have to face due to discrimination, helping them improve their abject living conditions, poor health conditions and overall development of the Burmese refugees.

The project will look to economically empower these people through sustainable
income generation. They have been working with women based small handicraft entrepreneurial units in the refuge community, promoting their traditional arts.
DASTKAR ” A National Organization is helping them with marketing of all the handicrafts. They have also formed a Placement Cell to provide them with training and job opportunities in which they would get a sustainable pay. Besides that, they have taken up initiatives for holistic development such as health camps and awareness programs.

Till now a total of 40-50 people have signed up in the placement cell out of which 15 people have already been placed in Private Pipe Plants and Workshops.

” The Training sessions were very good and informative, we were taught about ethics and behavior to be carried out in a work place. Now my working hours are better and also I am getting paid for overtime so it feels good to be a part of this program” said Mr. Lalehang Liana who is currently working in an Export House.

“It is a good initiative. The conditions of our people at the workplace are very bad. We have to work for long hours for which we used to get fewer wage. I myself was a victim of such harassment and discrimination. Placement Cell has been very helpful for us. They act as an interface to communicate with the Employers. They have helped so many of us and I hope more people get benefited from this project. I feel good that I am a part of this.” said Mr. Zaute of the Placement Cell.

– Aditya Kumar Nayak

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