NIT Alumni Design Exclusive Job Portal for Migrant Workers
As the country witnessed the heart-wrenching visuals of migrant workers walking several hundreds of kilometres barefoot to reach their homes, a group of NIT Rourkela alumni had pictured a crisis beyond it. Aware that they could do little to help them in their arduous journey, they decided to take care of the next ‘step.’
“It was obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic was not going to end anytime soon. Once the migrant workers return to their respective states, they would need money to survive. But, with no jobs in hand, how would they earn? This question led us to conceptualise the website,” Abhijeet Sahoo, an alumnus of NIT Rourkela, starts explaining.
The website in question – ‘Bharatworks.com’ – is an exclusive portal designed for the migrant workers, where they can find jobs according to their skill-set. The job categories range from construction to human services, agriculture and transportation.
“We function in two-ways. A portion of the website is for the migrants, where they need to register their basic details and skill. The second one is for the HR and the employers who can select the registered migrants as per their requirement and start the on-boarding process in the backend of the portal,” says Sahoo.
The website has been active for approximately one month and has 600 registrations already. Around 63 workers have also found jobs, according to their skill set.
The website, which is completely free of cost, has been conceptualised and designed by NIT alums. It’s also aided by several volunteers who have joined in the mission to help the workers, mostly in the registration process.
“We were aware that a lot of migrant workers might not be technology savvy and could find problems in registering themselves. So, we kept the registration process quite simple. Our groundwork also suggested that a lot of workers had social media accounts so they knew the basics of logging into their account. For those facing difficulty connected with our volunteers, who guided them through the process,” says Sahoo.
The website was initially designed for pan-India purposes but is now mostly concentrated in Odisha. The main reason that the portal is unable to cater to a wider audience is because of no marketing, say the founders.
“Unlike most job portals that charge a lot of money, Bharatworks provides completely free access to the migrants as well as the employers. Since this is a no-profit model and we are doing it solely to help the migrants, we tried to minimize the cost involved. We didn’t even market the product and are solely relying on the word of mouth to garner attention. In Odisha, we managed to create a database of the workers and the employers because of local connect, but we are finding it difficult to expand in other states. We would be happy if organisations from other states extended us their support.”
As the tagline of the portal says, “Ab Prawasi Nahin, Niwasi Banenge” (We will become residents, not migrants), the founders want to ensure the same is achieved.
“Bharatworks is neither an NGO nor a company. It is a social initiative for migrant workers. We want to provide a life of dignity to them. There is no other objective or aspiration.”