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Caritas India launches mobile app for migrant workers

Pravasi Bandhu app is a continuation of efforts to improve the lives of the country’s laboring poor

Participants at the Caritas India conference on migrant workers in Bengaluru on May 25

Participants at the Caritas India conference on migrant workers in Bengaluru on May 25. (Photo supplied)

Published: May 27, 2022 04:21 AM GMT

Updated: May 27, 2022 04:09 PM GMT

Caritas India, the social service arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, has launched a mobile application for the safe and smooth movement of migrant workers in the country.

The app, Pravasi Bandhu (literally the migrant’s brother), was jointly launched by Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore and Manjunath Gangadhara, additional labor commissioner of Bengaluru, on May 25.

The app can be downloaded from Play Store through an Android mobile phone and will help migrant workers access information about their rights and the procedure for registering to gain access to social security and health benefits.  

More than 100 people attended the launch in Bengaluru, the state capital of Karnataka, and participated in a discussion on the theme “Building lives of migrants today for a sustainable tomorrow: Migration and Sustainable Development Goals” organized by Caritas India.

The launch of the app is a continuation of Caritas India’s Pravasi Bandhu program started in March 2021 to help rebuild the lives of migrant workers who suffered many hardships during the Covid pandemic.

The program included the setting up of migrant support centers at source and destination states in India to help migrants with problems related to employment, health, living spaces and safe work conditions, especially for women and children.

“Migrants are an asset to every country where they bring their labor. They need to be given the dignity they deserve as human beings and the respect they deserve as workers”

Leeza Joseph, the thematic lead of Caritas India who moderated the discussion, told UCA News that migration is inevitable, necessary and highly desirable. 

“Migrants are an asset to every country where they bring their labor. They need to be given the dignity they deserve as human beings and the respect they deserve as workers,” she said.

Gangadhara said migrants were an important part of society. They are engaged in precarious work deprived of just wages, decent work and living conditions. “There is a need to formulate a national policy for migrants,” the additional labor commissioner said while seeking recommendations from Caritas India.

Archbishop Machado referred to the message of Pope Francis on Migrants and Refugee Day to underline the need for societal acceptance of migrants. “The migrants must be welcomed at the host states and should have access to social services,” he said.

Father Paul Moonjely, director of Caritas India, said there was a need to identify policy gaps and create opportunities and an enabling environment for migrant workers.

He emphasized the need to register migrant workers at the source and destination station to ensure their safety and security and ensure access to health services and education for their children.

Father Moonjely suggested a collaborative approach between federal and provincial governments to ensure a better deal for migrant workers.

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