India: Integrating Migrants

The new project of the Church of South India supports migrants seeking a better future after suffering a nightmare of hopelessness, exploitation and violence. Co-workers from the MITHRA Initiative act as friends to help the people face everyday challenges.

The migrants mainly come to South India from the north of India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. There, they hope to find better prospects to live and obtain good jobs. At the same time, young Indians are drifting to the large cities in the country. But their hope of living a life in dignity and finding better prospects for the future are quickly shattered by the reality of life conditions there. Migrants in India face enormous challenges: finding a steady job, a life accepted by society and a fair wage. But all this just remains a dream for most of them.

MITHRA started against this background at the initiative of the Church of South India (CSI) to recognise the existence of migrants in society and its aim is to improve their living conditions. In many Indian languages, MITHRA means "friend" and that is exactly what this project is all about.

Drugs as an Escape from Reality

Many migrants work 12 hours a day without even receiving a fair wage. They live in huts in conditions that are inhumane. About 50 to 60 people live in an apartment building which has one or two toilets at the most. Poor standards of hygiene, abuse and even drugs are the sad reality of their lives. Hard work and a lack of prospects mean that both women and men are especially vulnerable to taking drugs since it is one way to escape the reality of their world.
They are even attacked and robbed by local residents on their way home. If they defend themselves, they are beaten. Few of them report such incidents to the police since the language barrier is too great.

The MITHRA project helps people where they need it most. At one location, the initiative offers free meals twice a week. A doctor also tends to the medical needs of the migrants. In the urban centres of Chennai, the team offers pastoral care and acts as contact partner when migrants have questions or requests. Co-workers also try to sensitise young church members in urban CSI churches to the challenges and problems migrants face. Young leaders learn how to help migrants and how to integrate them in the Church and society.

Your donation helps migrants in South India lead a life in dignity.

Account for donations:
Evangelische Mission in Solidarit├Ąt
Evangelische Bank eG
IBAN: DE85 5206 0410 0000 0001 24