Building A Solution – Education of Children of Migrant laborers

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Building A Solution – Education of Children of Migrant laborers

The 2017 Economic Survey of India estimates that close to 9 Million people migrate every single year from rural to urban areas. Out of this, 6 million are estimated to be school going children who join their parents seeking a better future.

The nature of migration is such that, these children more than often miss out on their fundamental right to education. The migrant population keeps moving from one worksite to another denying the children continued access to schools and other educational opportunities.

These barriers are further augmented by the risks of living in temporary homes (often tents at construction sites) and the economic uncertainties faced by their parents. Girl children often have the additional responsibility of managing household chores as well.

Various government agencies and non-profits have realized the magnitude of this program and have been working on addressing this at different levels. But the scale of the problem combined with the local dynamics of each area further complicates the problem.


  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Bihar
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan
  • Uttarakhand
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • West Bengal


  • Delhi
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Gujarat
  • Andhra
  • Telengana
  •  Kerala


Vibha has been working on supporting solutions in this space since 2006 in 4 different states. More than $100,000 is invested every year in this space and close a Million Dollars have been deployed till date.

Based on our experience, we strongly believe that the need of the hour is a sustainable and replicable solution which has the local government and the employers(mostly builders) of the migrant labor force as the key stakeholders. Local governments have resources and frameworks that can scale whereas the local employers often have more visibility into the migrant workforce demographics.

To further develop this opportunity, in early 2017, Vibha commissioned a state of the union study (summary provided in next page) to explore opportunities in building a unified model for the education of children of migrant workers.


Vibha starts involvement in education of children of migrant workers


Annual Disbursal to implementation partners

Maharashtra Gujarat 

Uttar Pradesh West Bengal

States where Vibha supports programs for education of children of migrant workers

GOVERNMENT Rules and policies for education and welfare of migrant workers’ children

Comprehensive welfare polices existed for the workers, but

(1)seldom addressed the welfare of the children of the workers.

(2) varied from state to state

(3) most state and local governments are yet to identify children of migrant workers as a priorit

Lead/Partner in advocacy efforts to

(1) identify education of children of migrant workers as a focus area with specific policies and budget allocation

(2) ensure implementation of welfare policies concerning education of children of migrant workers

EMPLOYERS (MOSTLY BUILDERS) Employer views, limitations, and potential opportunitie s for working together

(1) Most employers did not view the education of their worker's children as a priority or responsibility

(2) Welfare Cess paid by employers to government remain unused for various reasons 

Lead/Partner in efforts to

(1) Educate, empower and engage employers through shared vision, training and ensuring transparency on ongoing progress .

(2) Identify components that can be supported by the employer or other CSR initiatives 

NON PROFITS Working models of other nonprofits in the same space

Non-profits were aware of the collaboration opportunities with the government, but often

(1) lacked the resource bandwdith to coordinate activities

(2) had very limited success in involving builders.

(3) lacked the maturity to work with a strategic road map

(1) Provide staff augmentation supporting advocacy and stakeholder coordination

(2) Develop plans to incentivize employer involvement

(3) Train first and second level leaders of implementation partners in Vibha's "Seed, Grow, Scale" methodolgy

Next Steps

The opportunities revealed by the study has opened up a world of possibilities for Vibha to create a unified solution in the space.

Vibha is now exploring operational strategies with already identified high potential, high capacity grassroots level implementation partners like the “Door Step School” in Maharashtra to realize and “templatize” further efficiencies in existing implementations.

This will be a long but another exciting journey in Vibha’s history. Lessons learned from past scaling successes will definitely go a long way in fulfilling the dream of ensuring meaningful education to the children of migrant workers.

The Goal

Vibha’s objective is to pioneer a scalable, sustainable and replicable model for education of children of migrant workers that will –

  • leverage existing frameworks, resources and guidelines provided by the Government of India and various other state/local government agencies
  • integrate employers of migrant workers as a key stakeholder
  • provide a uniform template that will enable local implementation agencies to realize efficiencies resulting from economies of scale
  • strategically track year over year progress against defined metrics
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