Topic: General Studies 1 & 2:
- Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
- Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
COVID-19: Challenges faced by Migrant Workers
In the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic, some of the worse challenges are faced by the inter-state migrant workers.
Do You Know?
- The cost of the lockdown is pegged at around $120 billion (nearly ₹9 lakh crore) or 4% of the GDP.
- The lockdown will effectively put over 45 million migrants, working on daily basis, out of work.
Problems of Inter-State migrant worker
- Sudden announcement of lockdown left them unprepared for it.
- Contrary and uncoordinated government orders caused confusion (Ex: Delhi migrants)
- Dire situation with no work, money or food
- Harassment at the hands of house owners
- Lack of political voice due to their migrant status
- Anxiety about the survival of their families back home
- Physical distancing for the unorganised sector is difficult in India given the realities of high density human settlements (Ex: slums)
- All the above factors lead to their mass exodus from urban areas to their homes often by foot due to suspension of Transport facilities.
- Making arrangements for travel to their home towns is not advisable as there is a danger of spread of virus to rural areas where health infrastructure is meagre.
- People will stay where they are, only if real support is provided.
- School buildings, community halls and stadiums can serve as temporary shelters for migrants (Karnataka model)
- Food grains from excessive buffer stocks to be supplied to these centres.
- Self-managed community kitchens to be set up
- Adequate safety training and safety gear needs to be provided to those housed in temporary shelters
Thus, there needs to be a plan of action based on compassion and understanding of conditions on the ground.
Connecting the dots:
- Other vulnerable sections of society & problems faced due to lockdown
- Migrants causing the demand for reservation of jobs for local people – legislations passed by State governments like AP, Maharashtra – Critically Analyze