Government intervention needed for labourers to live with dignity, say experts -Tanushree Venkatraman

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published Published on May 1, 2020   modified Modified on May 3, 2020

-Hindustan Times

As migrant workers continue to be the worst-hit owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, the call for re-imagining migrant lives post the pandemic grew louder on May 1, International Labour Day.

Various organisations working with migrant communities demanded immediate measures to address questions regarding the livelihood of the workers.

“Sending them back home is not addressing the problem. It is a band-aid solution,” said Roshni Nuggehalli, executive director at Mumbai-based NGO Yuva.

“The government has to work with the unions and organisations to plan both, short-term and long-term solutions that will help the migrant population live with dignity,” she said.

Aajeevika Bureau, an organisation that works in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, chartered a pathway for migrant-inclusive urban governance that can be adopted by the government.

In its report ‘Unlocking the Urban: Re-imagining Migrant Lives in Cities Post Covid-19’ released on Friday, it stressed on various measures, including enumeration of migrant settlements, legislation to fix employer responsibility, and migrant inclusive public health care.

Divya Varma from Aajeevika Bureau, in a webinar on Friday, said, “Migrant communities are left unenumerated, which excludes them from urban planning as their settlements are not recognised. Plus, there is a sedentary bias as they migrants cannot claim domicile.”

The organisation stated that post-Covid-19, one can expect migrants to be forced to work for even lower wages and in more exploitative conditions in urban areas.

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Hindustan Times, 1 May, 2020,

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