Sujata Jena is a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She is a human rights activist, a freelance journalist and an advocate with a special interest for the cause of the poor, Dalits, tribal women, children, minorities and migrants. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been actively involved in the safe return of the migrants and continues to work for their rights through advocacy and lobbying through networking with government administrations and civil society groups. Presently, she is working as the deputy director of the Excellent IAS Academy in Bhubaneswar, Eastern Indian State of Odisha. She is the coordinator of the social projects of the congregation.

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Networking and lobbying help stranded migrants

India's nationwide lockdown forced migrants to attempt a return to their homes. Many ended up stranded mid-journey. I managed to help several migrants by networking with government officials.

A journey with the homeless

In Manila, the Philippines: I meet the homeless along the street, begging at doors, camping under the bridge, stopping vehicles on the road asking for coins, lying on the sidewalks — so frail and exposed to rain and sun.