|A network between Italy and Punjab|
|Objectives and results|
Micro-entrepreneurial models and services for the socioeconomic development of the "working poor" in India – Italy component.
There are four billion people around the world who live in relative poverty, earning just enough to ensure their survival and that of their family. They are economically active persons who earn a minimum of US$ 500 to a maximum of US$ 3,000 per year and are defined as BOP - Bottom of the Pyramid - populations, i.e. located at the base of the income pyramid. The BOP segment of Asian population - including Middle East - involves 2.86 billion people, accounting for 83% of the total regional population. The project promoted by FEM (prime contractor) and ACRA includes various interventions in India supporting the BOP population (in order to facilitate access to water, basic services and social-health) but is also based on the involvement of Indian migrant communities - especially from Punjab - now settled in Italy, promoting South-South cooperation models.
Problems to solveWith a total of 77,432 residents, Indians are the 10th national immigrant group in Italy. Most of these migrants come from the state of Punjab and are Sikh. The prevalence of their settlements is concentrated in the northwest and northeast of Italy, with a high density in Lombardy. The phenomenon of Indian migration in Lombardy begins at the end of the Eighties: many Indians began to work in the agricultural sector and in the dairy industry. Today in the provinces of Brescia, Mantua and Cremona - the golden triangle of Italian milk, from where it comes 30% of the national production - Indian Sikhs support the livestock business with over a thousand employees. This community has a very low profile, only few of them have studied and are involved in cultural or social activities; furthermore there are several very complicated barriers to break down (physical, linguistic and cultural isolation).