Action Education and Telangana Government launch ‘UDAAN’ project to ensure uninterrupted education to children of seasonal Odia migrant workers in Telangana.
Supported by the Government of Telangana, the project ‘UDAAN’ aims to empower 9000 seasonal migrant workers from Odisha working in brick kilns in Ranga Reddy province by providing access & quality education to their children in their mother tongue. Through the establishment of Migration Resource Centre, the education, health, entitlements and housing needs of migrant workers will be addressed.
In 2017, the Rachakonda Police Commisionarate conducted “Operation Smile” under its jurisdiction as part of the national wide campaign against child labour. The police conducted raids across all informal establishments and rescued 376 school-going-age migrant children from brick kilns in and around Hyderabad. Instead of following criminal procedures, the police responded in a humanitarian spirit. This paved the way for an innovative education program in partnership between the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate, Brick Kiln Owners Association of Telangana, and Aide et Action/Action Education.
All the rescued children were either enrolled in the local government schools located near the brick kilns or in the temporary schools established by the brick kiln owners on the premises of the worksite. Thus, "Worksite Schools" became a reality and gave hope to brick kiln children to be able to pursue their right to education in a dignified manner. Since the children were from Odisha, a state where the language is not the same, textbooks and education volunteers from Odisha were mobilized by Aide et Action/Action Education to impart education in their mother tongue. Since 2017, the worksite schools have been open seasonally from November to June and served 5538 children, 42 percent of whom are girls. In 2022, a worksite school was opened for 55 Marathi-speaking children who migrated from the Nanded district of Maharashtra. (Photo © Chandra Kiran)
The worksite schools have covered the worksites of Yadadri and Medchal districts of Telangana.
Children from all these schools were assessed qualitatively on their competencies, based on which the focus was placed on improving their competencies. By the end of the academic year, all children received certificates endorsed by the local administration & Aide et Action/Action Education and are re-enrolled into schools in their native place.
The partnership with the Rachakonda Commissionerate, District Administrations, Education Dept., Brick Kiln owners and AEA/AE has transformed these brick kilns into “No child labor zones” and is ensuring uninterrupted education of children despite belonging to a different state.
Project UDAAN – a step towards institutionalising education of migrant children
The success of the 'site school' concept has paved the way for further collaboration between the Telangana government, Telangana Social Impact Group, Action Education and the Brick Kiln Association of Telangana through 'Udaan', a project to help migrant brick kiln workers from Odisha access education for their children and various programmes and entitlements of the Telangana government.
The project ensures the enrolment of migrant children in Telangana government schools and provides education in their mother tongue through education volunteers from Odisha. Further, the project aims to mobilize necessary support from Odisha State for the facilitation of decent living for Odia migrant families in Telangana.
In this regard, an official launch took place on the 2nd of December 2022. As part of the project, a Migrant Resource Centre was set up whose primary focus is to ensure Education, Health, Entitlements, and Housing needs for migrant workers.
The pilot project in collaboration with multiple line departments will reach out to more than 60 brick kilns and benefit nearly 9000 migrant workers from Odisha who will reside for 6–8 months in the outskirts of Ranga Reddy district.