Beyond Bridges: Migration, Masculinities and Risk Behaviour An Educational Migration, Intervention in Southern and Eastern UP
There was a steady stream of young men who were coming back their villages from their place of work carrying a serious illness, and the threat of HIV was discussed. Sensing forthcoming threat to health of women and men and impact of masculinity, SAHAYOG and Centre for Health and Social Justice became interested in exploring the linkages between male outmigration, masculinities, HIV/AIDS and gender in Uttar Pradesh.
The strategy was to first build understanding on the linkages among gender equality, masculinity, HIV/AIDS and gender equitable responsible relationships, and then to develop an appropriate curriculum for field level intervention. Centre for Health and Social Justice supported SAHAYOG in developing the field intervention and to test its effectiveness.
An extensive literature review supplemented with field study in three eastern UP district was done as part of the situational analysis. Forty three focus group discussions were on HIV/AIDS and related issues, in 3 districts. Twelve People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), of whom seven were women, were interviewed, all of whom, had first-hand experience of migration in the recent past. Most of the male PLHAs interviewed said that they had been migrants to Mumbai, while the women said that they were ‘widows’ of now-dead migrants who had migrated to Mumbai. Considering the findings of the situational analysis an educational intervention was designed to work as a predeparture strategy for in-school/institutions and out of school youth. Field activists of SAHAYOG’s partner NGO’s from eastern UP and Bundelkhand were trained as facilitators for using this educational strategy among the youth in the project area. A rigorous evaluation of the field intervention methodology was carried out in three locations.