How Much Do We Really Know About the Migrants Who Shuttle Between Bharat and India? -Malvika Tyagi
A recent survey conducted becomes invaluable in terms of data on the socio-economic backgrounds of seasonal and short-term migrants.
The lack of a comprehensive database on India’s migrants has been one of the foremost hurdles preventing the Indian government from providing direct cash transfers to them. The most that the government has been able to say about migrants is their aggregate number.
Indeed, one of the biggest non-medical tragedies of the COVID-19 crisis has been the misery of migrants in India – neglected by their own state, one which prides itself on being the largest democracy in the world and endowed with the largest demographic dividend currently. Thought-provoking pictures of bare-footed, battered human beings – who renowned activist Nikhil Dey accuses our collective conscience as not seeing as human at all – calls for an analysis of who they are and what they do.
The most recent census does provide data on migrants for analytical purposes which – while dated – can still be useful to get a sense of migration as a whole.
Out of a total of 7.82 crore rural-urban migrants, work or employment is the reason why the fourth highest proportion of migrants move to urban areas (the highest proportions move due to marriage, majority of which are women, or with household, or after birth).
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TheWire.in, 5 August, 2020, https://thewire.in/labour/india-migrant-workers-covid-19-crisis-socio-economic-status