Chinmay Tumbe, economist and  Assistant Professor at IIM Ahmedabad, interviewed by Seema Chishti (The Indian Express)

Chinmay Tumbe, economist and Assistant Professor at IIM Ahmedabad, interviewed by Seema Chishti (The Indian Express)

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published Published on Mar 30, 2020   modified Modified on Apr 1, 2020

-The Indian Express

That migrants' health takes a huge beating in this process. That the already-malnourished will suffer immensely, says Chinmay Tumbe.

Economist Chinmay Tumbe, author most recently of India Moving – A History of Migration and an Assistant Professor at IIM (Ahmedabad) spoke to Seema Chishti on the many implications of the surging crowds of migrants anxious to go home in the wake of the national lockdown.

* Given the sudden rush we see of our migrants, what are your biggest concerns?

That migrants’ health takes a huge beating in this process. That the already-malnourished will suffer immensely. The mental stress induced by the long walk back home. And that for a few who may test Covid-19 positive, the fatality rates may be higher, only because of the long walk back home.

* What is it that suddenly makes places they set out to make a life to, so inhospitable for them? Is it just economic?

One needs to understand the psychology of the circular migrant worker. The city is seen as a means to an end of providing for the family back home. In times of distress, whether a recession or a pandemic, ‘home’ is the native place and migrants set off. The economic dimension comes from paying housing rents which one can save on, if one leaves the city. But more than that, its a natural tendency to be with parents and extended family back home, during times like these.

Please click here to read more.

Please click here to access the Report of the Working Group on Migration (released in January 2017), prepared under the chairpersonship of Prof. Partha Mukhopadhyay (Centre for Policy Research), Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express


The Indian Express, 30 March, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/governance/coronavirus-chinmay-tumbe-before-announcing-lockdown-assuring-migrant-workers-would-have-helped-6337697/


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