Saturday 22 Jun 2024

Beyond Borders: Reaching out to stranded people, needy, migrant labour in State

THE GOAN NETWORK | DECEMBER 08, 2020, 12:39 AM IST
Beyond Borders: Reaching out to stranded people,   needy, migrant labour in State

PANAJI

On International Volunteer Day (December 5) Beyond Borders, a social enterprise working for the downtrodden across India, got a special mention and appreciation for its work with the people in the slums of Goa and the daily wagers, stranded, out-of-state migrant workers during the Covid-19 lockdown period, on All India Radio FM Rainbow Goa channel by RJ Runa. 

“Ours is a 20-year-old social enterprise from Mumbai which currently works in Goa, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh in India as well as Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” briefs Arunabha Pal, CEO and director at Beyond Borders. Some of his network partners in Goa during the lockdown and pandemic relief activity, were BITS Pilani’s student organisation Nirmaan and staff, Kiran Niketan Social Centre at Zuarinagar managed by the Sister of Holy Family of Nazareth, Volunteers of Humano Trust, Swadesh run by the Jesuist priests

“We provide our network organisations, with business advisory services, project management support, fundraising, advocacy and other services too," said Pal. 

“We also work with marginalised communities on a variety of social issues like women's empowerment, livelihood generation, enterprise development, healthcare, children's education and development,” shares Dr Prafullata Rajput, executive director and head of all Health Interventions at Beyond Borders. Rajput mentions that one of the recent projects was ‘Celebrating Menstruation’ which was showcased in the ‘Act for Change’ campaign of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September 2020.

Seema Nair who is the community mobilisation manager at Beyond Borders based in Zuarinagar shares her experience during the lockdown period when families with small children, pregnant women suffered the most with incidents of women delivering on the roads being reported. “Beyond Borders stepped in and quickly created a network of NGOs and volunteers who helped in distributing food and essentials to thousands of migrant workers in the biggest slums Goa, at Zuarinagar. To avert unequal distribution of supplies we created a database and a process of tracking the distribution which led to independent volunteers contacting us for relief work in the entire district,” explains Nair.

“We started helping other scattered families who were stranded all over South Goa with no shelter and food. We used our systematic approach to get them on our database, provide food and essentials, provide medical relief and get them registered on the government portal online so that they could board the free Shramik trains run by the government for taking them to their hometowns. Our inclusive and timely intervention allowed better coordination between the volunteers, social organisations and the district administration to be informed about migrant movement and helped them take decisions around transportation, shelter and food for the out of state workers,” recalls Nair.

The organization carried on relief work through the series of lockdowns and tried to reduce the suffering of the people. All this work is either done pro bono or funded through research grants, crowd funding and focused fundraising interventions.

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