Living City: Migrant workers find refuge in Rowell Road shophouse

The second floor of a shophouse at Rowell Road is a safe haven for Singapore's migrant workers.
The second floor of a shophouse at Rowell Road is a safe haven for Singapore's migrant workers.ST PHOTO: BASIL EDWARD TEO

The second floor of a shophouse at Rowell Road is a hive of activity seven days a week.

From Monday to Saturday, hundreds of migrant workers gather there to collect tokens to exchange for meals. On alternate Wednesdays, the space is turned into a makeshift clinic. And on Sundays, it becomes a music studio for workers to let their hair down.

"This place is basically a melting pot of all sorts of different cultures and purposes," said Ms Noor Adilah Mohamad Rafey, 19, a volunteer with The Cuff Road Project (TCRP).

The project is a food distribution programme by Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) for migrant workers who are on Special Passes and are unable to work after making an injury or salary claim with the Ministry of Manpower.

Until the cases are resolved - and this could take months and even more than a year - most of these workers do not have regular income.

The heart of the project lies in the second floor of 1C Rowell Road above Isthana Restaurant, one of five restaurants in the Little India area that are involved in the project.

In this episode of video series Living City, The Straits Times takes you to a safe haven for Singapore's migrant workers.