Migrant Workers, the backbone of India’s economy

A Quantum jump of 14 place in India’s rank in ease of doing business is due to the migrant workers concentrated in India big cities, majority escaping poverty in their villages, they live in squalling having in congested urban areas. The application of lockdown turned this backbone of the country to refugees overnight.

Lurching Circumstances:-

Victims of politics:-   Every state government made faulty promises for the arrangements regarding their living for brightening “Political Image”.

Government’s Faulty Approach:

In combatting pandemic, government use top-owner approach, that makes the situation worst.

Relief Package: A word Play:

No direct benefit to the informal workforce was made available out of 20 lack crore package.

“Shramik Express” seems to be an eyewash as a hungry stomach cannot buy business class tickets.

“PM- Garib Kalyan Yojana” is delaying the free ration supply, changing the pandemic to starvation.

Inadequacy of existing laws:-

Covid-19 exposed the loopholes of various Act.

1979 Interstate migrant workemen.

  • Not legally enforced
  • Covers a very small number of migrants.

Curtailed game of labour laws:-

A faulty wage of sec5 of Factory Act, 1987 has cured all the labour rights from the dislocated poor workforce.

Most Vulnerable Section to Virus

  • Zero food Security
  • Inadequate medical facilities
  • No protective measures
  • Mental trauma
  • Social discrimination

Reason:-

  • Inability to recognize the size and importance of this community.
  • There informal settlement between villages and cities resulted in an inaccurate count.
  • Unprepared policymakers and faculty implementation.
  • No transport facility.
  • No proper guidance of what next to do.
  • Too many rumours and fake news.
  • Harassment at both the side at working place and at a home place where they live or at a rented place.

Way Forward or Government Initiatives.

  • Prioritising dedicated transports for migrants. Centre government should contact the various state government and come up with the plan to transport various labour who have been stuck at the various states.
  • Relaxing the restrictions for access to basic needs as they did not have money to spend on commodity the need.
  • Empowering inter-state council under Act 263 for future safety.
  • The government should start interstate agriculture product supply through E-NAM.
  • Shramik Express train for migrant workers.
  • Restart MGNREGA Scheme.
  • School buildings, community halls and Stadiums can serve as temporary shelters for migrant workers. The government should provide better testing facility and food to the labour and then they should allow them to move to there home state.
  • Proper investment in MSMEs to provide employment. State government should provide job to various labours who have migrated from different state to there home state.
  • Atma Nirbhan Abhiyaan should have 2 specific attention on migrants.
  • PM Care Fund should be utilized for the betterment of the migrants.
  • The government should not only focus on Covid-19 but also only diseases also only focusing on COVID-19 may lead to increase of other diseases.

Conclusion:-

Thus, there need to be a plan of action based on compassion and understanding of condition on the ground. There should be proper implementation of rule and regulation, guidelines given by the government and our economist, doctors and our professionalist.