In South Asia we have a number of long term projects in India. These projects often focus on indigenous people who face persecution and poverty as well as engaging with initiatives which empower women.
Human Life Development and Research Centre (HLDRC)
HLDRC is based in the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal which shares borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Unfortunately, this makes Darjeeling a prime location for human traffickers to operate in.
Tea-growing is a key part of the local economy. But when the crop fails – when a tea garden becomes ‘sick’– there’s little money to pay the workers. That’s when the traffickers move in, targeting vulnerable young women and girls.
HLDRC was established by Jesuits to raise awareness about human trafficking and protect vulnerable woman and girls. The organisation offers education and vocational training programmes. As a result, woman and girls are given opportunities to work in a safe environment with a decent income.
HLDRC also offers rescue and rehabilitation services for victims of human trafficking.
Lucy, our Programmes Officer visiting a beautician training site used by HLDRC.
Working with Lok Manch on environmental activism.
We are currently partnered with Lok Manch. They are working to protect India’s environment and the most vulnerable people affected by climate change. Lok Manch do this through advocating for land rights for the Adivasi community, India’s indigenous people.
The Adivasi people often lose their land to mining companies who are destroying the planet and making many of the Adivasi community homeless while doing so.
During 2020, Lok Manch was able to secure protected forest status for 657 villages, training the communities in water conservation, environmentally friendly farming methods, and tree planting.
Lok Manch also advocates for safe and sustainable fishing in Kerala. On this front, Lok Manch partners with the Adivasis Development Initiative in Kerala to combat sea erosion and promote sustainable fishing techniques.
Jesuit Missions has been working with Lok Manch since 2016 to make people aware of their entitlements and help protect the environment.
Sarsal, a woman who gained land rights with the help of Lok Manch.