Manufactured maladies : lives and livelihoods of migrant workers during COVID‑19 lockdown in India

Adhikari, Anindita and Goregaonkar, Navmee and Narayanan, Rajendran and Panicker, Nishant and Ramamoorthy, Nithya (2020) Manufactured maladies : lives and livelihoods of migrant workers during COVID‑19 lockdown in India. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics. pp. 1-29. ISSN 0971-7927

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Abstract

The 68 days of lockdown in India, as a measure to contain the spread of the COVID19 pandemic, resulted in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, unlike any other in the world. In the frst half of the lockdown, migrant workers were stranded with no food and money with severe restrictions on movement when a mass exodus of workers back to their hometowns and villages began. In the second half, the workers’ woes were compounded with a series of chaotic travel orders and gross mismanagement of the repatriation process. In this article, we draw on the work of Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) with more analysis and perspective. SWAN was a spontaneous relief efort that emerged soon after the lockdown was announced in March 2020. In addition to providing relief, SWAN concurrently documented the experiences of over 36,000 workers through the lockdown. We highlight the inadequacy of the government and judicial response to the migrant worker crisis. We present quantitative data elaborating the profle of workers that reached out to SWAN, the extent of hunger, loss of livelihoods and income. We also present qualitative insights based on interactions with workers and discuss multiple, non-exhaustive, dimensions of vulnerability to which migrant workers were exposed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Migrants, Labour, Lockdown, India, Inequality
Subjects: Social sciences > Social services;Associations
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Arts and Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Sachin Tirlapur
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2020 04:52
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2020 04:59
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/2395
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41027-020-00282-x

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