As Covid restrictions return, migrants workers stare at uncertainty again: Study -Ralph Alex Arakal

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published Published on May 5, 2021   modified Modified on May 6, 2021

-The Indian Express

The study initiated by voluntary researchers at the Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) indicated that the vulnerabilities experienced by migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown in 2020 had resurfaced this year.

Bengaluru: With Covid-19 lockdowns and related restrictions back in many parts of the country, the livelihood of informal workers, especially migrants, has been hit yet again, a recent study found.

The study, by voluntary researchers at the Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN), indicated that the vulnerabilities experienced by migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown in 2020 have resurfaced this year as well.

“As many as 81 per cent of the workers who are either still stranded or are in their homes stated that work had stopped due to locally declared lockdowns/ restrictions. On average, workers have said that work had stopped for 19 days,” SWAN found. The report also noted that 68 per cent of the workers said that they had received their full or partial wages for the previous month.

Members of the network told Indianexpress.com that observations on the workers’ conditions were noted down based on the volunteers’ conversations with them since April 21 this year. “While we received calls from across the country, many were from workers in states like Delhi, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh,” Seema Mundoli, a member of the network said.

She added that only a mere 18 per cent of the workers to whom the team spoke to had received any money from their employer since work was halted again due to the restrictions. “Some workers have returned to their native villages, while others were unsure about whether they should go back or wait for work to resume. The inflated cost of travel has deterred many workers,” she said.

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The Indian Express, 5 May, 2021, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/migrant-workers-continue-to-stare-at-uncertainty-amid-lockdowns-restrictions-declared-locally-study-7303334/


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