Project Aashray was the step toward courage to accept refugees and empower them.
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve left them.” The trauma of the 1947 partition is still alive in many hearts. It had not only segregated people on land but also detached everyone emotionally. People had a tough time accepting each other. Still, after 71 years of Independence and partition, Hindus on the other side of the border hadn’t been accepted as citizens of Pakistan due to which they flee away from there and come to settle in India.
This hasn’t helped them much. Now, they are surrounded by other factors such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, improper living conditions etc. Back in 2011, Project Aashray of Enactus Satyawati focused on empowering refugee families living in Majnu Ka Tila by training them in making shoes, hence making them entrepreneurs. They also intended to focus on their holistic development and help them overcome their difficulties. Since the community did not have any fixed source of employment, they wanted to make them entrepreneurs by helping them establish their own business with little effort and money. The refugees were making hand-stitched footwear, the raw materials for which was provided to them by EnactusSatyawati.
Apart from making them financially stable, they also had a conversation with the local government bodies to help solve the problem of sanitation and cleanliness and help the children with their education. The members use to visit at least once a week to teach the kids and educate them.
“To be called a refugee is the opposite of an insult; it is a badge of strength, courage, and victory.” Strength of facing the odd, Courage to stand against it and the Victory to come out of it. This project also wishes to draw attention to this neglected community and spread awareness about how and why they need to be accepted in our society.