The Apna Ghar Project was envisaged to provide safe and hygienic hotel accommodation to interstate migrant (ISM) workers on rental basis.
Kerala has witnessed a steady inflow of ISM workers from other States of India, particularly from West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa over the last two decades. The removal of Keralites from the basis work force as a result of higher levels of education and the emigration to foreign countries particularly to the middle east created a significant gap in the Kerala workforce. Now, the ISM workers are bridging that gap and have become a crucial and integral part of the Kerala economy across multiple sectors such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, etc.
However, the Department of Labour and Skills, Government of Kerala observed that the housing and living conditions of most of these ISM workers is very poor with limited access to even clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. Due to the lack of facilities they live in cramped temporary housing and their cooking, bathing, etc often takes place in the open. The increasing housing rent has also made it difficult for small businesses to provide good accommodation for the ISM workers employed by them.
The poor living conditions of the ISM workers have raised concerns of the spread of diseases within their groups and also among the local populations. Taking this and also the contribution by the ISM workers to the economy and development of the State, the Department of Labour and Skills decided to take proactive steps by proving hygienic and safe hostel accommodation at affordable rent instead of depending on the vagaries of the market forces.
The Schemes under the Apna Ghar Project are proposed to be implemented in areas across Kerala with a shortage of suitable accommodation facilities for ISM workers.