by Dakshayani Madangopal
KOCHI, MAY 13, 2016: The Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) organised a training programme for the staff of the Centre for Socio-Economic and Environmental Studies (CSES), Kochi from May 4 – 6, in connection with their ongoing research project, ' Vulnerable Children: A Study of Children of Migrant Construction Workers in Six Indian Cities.'
Dakshayani Madangopal, CEO, DBRC and Hemalatha Anil Kumar, consultant, DBRC conducted training sessions that were designed to discuss and understand the tools of data collection for the survey of households and children of migrant construction workers; to teach a scientific approach of sampling for the household survey; to give necessary inputs to conduct focus group discussion (FGD) with key informants associated with migrant construction workers; to provide hands- on training for recording anthropometric measurements - height and weight - of children and infants of migrant construction workers and to provide field training through a pilot survey at a construction site.
Over the three days of training, the programme witnessed hectic discussions and activities among the six trainees. On day one, after a preliminary introduction to the project by Madangopal, Dr. Ajith Kumar, Director, CSES, stressed upon the magnitude and unique nature of the migration problem in Kochi.
This was followed by an introduction of the participants and then a discussion on the household interview schedule with Kumar and Madangopal. This concluded with queries and mock practice sessions for the participants.
The post lunch session explored the interview schedule for children below nine years, for which the child's mother would be the respondent. This session too was accompanied by queries and mock interviews.
Day two witnessed discussions centred around the interview schedule for children in the age group of 10-17 years, followed by practice interviews. Later, there was a demonstration by the trainers of the anthropometric measuring instruments - infantometer, stadiometer and weighing scales - their use and precautions to be taken.
Sampling being an integral part of the survey, Kumar conducted a session on sampling, beginning from mapping of construction localities, sites, household listing, sampling frame, choice of sample size etc.
Day three included a field visit wherein the trainees got a chance to practice their interview skills on five families from Bihar. They also get hands-on experience on the use of anthropometric measures.
Kumar briefed the participants about the procedure for conducting focus group discussions with key informants, ethical issues and standard operating procedures to be followed during the field survey.
For the participants, it was a firsthand experience in attending a training programme in the area of migration. They were handed over the anthropometric instruments which they would be using in their respective cities with a promise to make this study a success.
The training programme and the discussions therein emphasised the complex nature of the migrant population problem in Kochi and the variations that exist among different states.