COVID 19 AND MIGRANT WORKERS: LESSONS FOR INDIA

Authors

  • Dr. Archana Arul , Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami

Abstract

There is a segment of the population that is always seen as critical for the economy; but a group
that is often forgotten in the calculus of any calamity, not with any deliberativeness but somehow
left out in the scheme of things—Migrant workers, formal and informal. In the context of India,
migrant workers constitute a critical component of the workforce with particular concentration in
industries, manufacturing, services sector like hotels and salons as well as domestic help by way
of cleaning and cooking. These workers are transitional in that they do not seem to hold on to a
permanent setting as was seen in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic when they wished to
get back to their hometowns. There is yet another aspect to migrant workers—the constituency
that leaves India in search of jobs overseas. This group is a critical backbone of the Indian
economy because it provides the valuable foreign exchange remittances which in many cases go
to shore up jobs within the country. The essential question that needs to be asked is if policy
makers in India have learned anything out of the Covid 19 pandemic, especially as it pertained to
the migrant workers. The lessons go far beyond providing short term succor to long term lessons
that are to be learnt along with the wherewithal to deal with another pandemic that might come
across in the future. The crux of the issue is the extent to which the Center and the State
governments factored in the compulsions of the migrant workers when it came to lockdown and
post lockdown issues. Is there a framework for the future, or are we going about in a pedestrian
fashion-- moving from one crisis to another without a road map or even a clue of what is in front
of us?

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Published

2020-12-01

How to Cite

Dr. Archana Arul , Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami. (2020). COVID 19 AND MIGRANT WORKERS: LESSONS FOR INDIA. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology, 17(6), 2795 - 2799. Retrieved from http://mail.palarch.nl/index.php/jae/article/view/1224