Corona and the Migrant Workers
Some of the States have large number of migration. A large number of populations migrate not only across the country but worldwide from these states in search of livelihood. In recent days’ I have been coming across many WhatsApp status and news showing issues related to migrant workers. Then question comes why Bihar, UP & Delhi are in news. Author could not apply any of the theorems learned during his school and college. As a student the new thoughts and theories also failed to be applied in the case. Now in this call of total lock down by Prime Minister of India. Countrymen are looking at Bihar, UP & Delhi with different disciplines of academia be it Social Scientists, Political Scientists, Economists etc.
Bihar, Uttar Pradesh (UP), and New Delhi are in the breaking news. People who spread the rumors in Delhi and NCR regions to leave for home in this total lock-down and as a result large number of migrant workers hailing from Bihar and UP were on road to home. Even with a distance of more than 300 km, they started walking toward their homes. Migrant workers who are working in infrastructural projects and unorganized sectors in Delhi and NCR areas specifically are the worst affected. As it is to be noted that this didn’t happen in other part of the nation on this scale (May be NCR Delhi is multi border). Any way they have started moving to their homes on foot, government is arranging bus in order to send them to their respective villages and towns. A lot of people are there and they need proper direction and support.
What is the background?
There is the fear of India entering into stage III due to COVID-19. Every migrant worker is on road heading their way home. They agree that they have done mistake by breaking the lock-down, when they came to know about the consequences of CORONA outbreak. There may be circumstances in which they had to leave for their permanent address. Some of them have started reaching to their native places. This may lead to disaster for poor states, if not tackled properly. Will they be able to control or again in the wake of national emergency, they will have to wait for assistance from center. CORONA is not giving sufficient time so the only way is lock down and minimizing the movement of these migrant workers.
What we can do
- Stopping the blame game, Migrants should utilize government schemes of temporary shelter, food and many more at various places, wherever they are.
- Those that are still on their way to home must be quarantined immediately.
- People helping voluntarily, should also convince and stop them on as is where is basis and provide necessary help.
- This is the most testing time for the states having large number of migration. This should be taken positively by some of the states like Bihar which does not have actual data of migrant workers working outside of Bihar. State Governments should utilize it as right time to count and frame policies accordingly for New Bihar or other states having higher number of migration.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
The author is an avid traveler. He has rich knowledge and working experience in Urban and Rural areas including those cities from Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and his residence in Bengaluru and Pondicherry. He is well versed in various Indian languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Maithili, Angika, Bhojpuri, Magahi . He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org