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a network between Italy and Punjab


ico educazione internaassociazione sevaMicro business models and services for the social and economic development of the "working poor" in India – Italian component



Italy, region of Lombardy



From May 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013




Due to the conditions of extreme poverty, the majority of migrants with Indian passport in Italy come from the state of Punjab and are of Sikh faith. The prevalence of settlements is concentrated in the northwest and northeast of the country, with a high density in Lombardy. Today, in the provinces of Brescia, Mantua and Cremona (where 30% of the national production comes from), the Indian Sikhs work in the livestock sector with more than a thousand people employed. This is a scarcely visible or known community, hardly involved in inter-cultural or social activities and with a series of particularly complicated barriers to break down (physical, linguistic and cultural isolation). The project promoted by FEM (project leader) and ACRA includes activities in India in support of the more marginalized communities (to favour access to water, to basic and social- health care services) and is based on the involvement of communities of migrants coming from India (in particular from Punjab) who settled in Italy, promoting models of South-South cooperation.



  • Strengthening of association capacities of the Punjabi communities who have settled permanently in Lombardy.
  • Sensitization of the actors on the territory and their involvement in common actions for the development of the territory with the Punjabi group of reference.
  • Construction of a network that involves the Punjabi group and other local Lombard actors in activities of co-development in India, with particular attention to Punjab.
  • Broadening and deepening of information on the nature and on the characteristics of the Punjabi groups in Lombardy, in view of the development and replication of the action.



  • Constitution and activation on the territory of an Association of Punjabi Diaspora in Lombardy, which offers services and jobs to its associates in network with other subjects of civil society.
  • Favour a knowledge of the social and cultural reality of the Punjab amongst the population of the territory and of the relative Punjabi diaspora, sensitizing it on issues of development and co-development.
  • Activate pilot experiences of cooperation and co-development amongst the economic actors on the target territory (migrants and locals) and the Punjab.



  • The project directly involves 1,500 Indian Punjabi migrants of Sikh religion who live in the areas around Pessina Cremonese.

Indirectly, the intervention has an impact on the entire population of the target territory.



Total value:
401.460 € (ACRA budget)


Main funders:



peppino vismara


Other funders:
BCC Agrobresciano, Ghedi (partner and sponsor)

FEM Italia Onlus (project leader)

Associazione Gurdwara Sri Guru Kalgidhar Sahib

Bishopric of Cremona
The Nabha Foundation, India
Altis, Milan