It's time for the Govt. to ensure social security of returnee migrants & provide them free vaccination, asks civil society group

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

-Press release by Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) dated 5th May, 2021

Soon after the lockdown was imposed in 2020, a group of around 100 volunteers formed Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN). Last year, SWAN responded to distress calls from over 30,000 migrant workers from across India. It connected these workers to local organisations and government officials providing rations, assisted them with their travel arrangements, and distributed over Rs.63 lakhs in emergency cash transfers.

This year, again, as lockdowns and restrictions continue to be imposed, SWAN has resumed its efforts to provide support and relief to workers who have been stranded away from their homes with limited means of sustenance. Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) has been in touch with the families/ groups of about 150 migrant workers over the last 2 weeks, and found that -

* 81 percent 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.

* While 68 percent of workers said that they had received their full or partial wages for the previous month, only 18 percent had received any money from their employer since the work had stopped.

* While some workers have returned to their native villages, others were unsure about whether they should go back or wait for work to resume.

* 76 percent of the workers needed ration and/or cash support.

The recommendations further stated in the press release build on its understanding of the challenges faced by the workers during the lockdown in 2020 and some new trends that have surfaced this time around (especially regarding the vaccination drive), and encompass testimonies of workers and a charter of demands.

Please click here to access the press statement issued by Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) dated 5th May, 2021. Kindly click here to access the note on the types of distress and testimonies that the workers shared with SWAN volunteers.


Press release by Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN), 5 May, 2021


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