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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Let there be a massive collection of data on all migrant labour

    According to some reports, the migrant labour have begun to head back to their places of work, thousands of kilometres away. Even New Delhi, which is facing a good shortage of skilled labor, is now reportedly getting the labor previously employed in the small units. Obviously, the labor was paid far fewer wages than the locals; this was the primary reason why they got the jobs in the first place.

    Now, the State Governments need accurate information on migrant labor. Their place of origin, their family background, and so on: the State Governments need not spend their scarce resources. They can ask the students who are now wasting their time at home to collect all data and fed into databases that could be maintained across the State with adequate controls. This exercise is not required for any selfish reason; it is more for helping them find their feet. They need food and reasonable accommodation, till the time things are normal. Let them get back their jobs: no problem. However, since the virus is going to take 18 months to go out of this world, let us first collect all data and help them to the maximum extent possible. This needs to be a pan-India phenomenon.
  • #699016
    I am amazed at the over attention given to the migrant labour nowadays. Migration for work and earning was there in early days also. In the early days it was migration to major cities, But never was such an attention given to the migrants then by the related State governments or the central government. However such migrants very smoothly integrated into the host states and contributed to those states economy and culture, spiritual and educational sectors too. The migrants conducted well as law abiding peaceful citizen and slowly became naturalised citizen of those states. The migration was steady and gradual then.
    They had to suffer a lot if they wanted to go to their native places as there were not enough and convenient for their journey. Even now there are not convenient trains from many such states to the southern states. Though there were some resistances in Mumbai against the then migrants, mainly by regional politicians like Bal Thackeray of Shiv Sena, it did not get that much support from the local populace.
    But suddenly when the migration started from north and east to almost all other states in India, in the last few years, there started many issues. Though it started as a sort of labour source to host states, and economic support to the native states of the migrants, it slowly started to impact the social scene too. These migrant labourers started living as concentrated groups in various pockets. Source of violent crimes and illegal activities got traced to such pockets and people. The colonies became sore points in the matter of hygiene and cleanliness. Slowly the burden on social fabric started showing. The local demography started changing too. There was serious call from social scientists to have a perfect system of registration and monitoring of these migrant labourers. There were signals that certain vested interests were infiltrating and working among the migrant labourers.
    All these suddenly got a jerk by Covid 19. Until then the migrants were commanding money and were considered as valuable labour. As work suddenly stopped, their earnings dropped. They became panic. Though states like Kerala looked after them well, the vested interests working amidst them provoked them by instilling unwanted fear in them. They started sudden demonstration and protests at some pockets. Their demands went changing showing that someone is working behind them.
    It was then that the States wanted to make arrangements assessments. Very sadly they found that they do not have the actual statistics on migrant labourers in their states. They also found that whatever assumed figures or available figures with them are all wrong and ground situation is far different.
    Now all of us know how the Covid situation got complicated and complex by panicky and volatile migrant labourers. That had made a serious rethink on need of massive collection of true data on migrant labourers. It is to be seen whether this will be taken seriously or forgotten once the Covid crisis is over. This note is written mainly on the basis of the status and experience with migrant labourers in Kerala.

  • #699018
    I came across an interesting point that was stated about migrants in one online article (I cannot locate it now), that why are they called migrants in the first place? Just because they move from one place to another to seek work? Isn't that applicable to even others who move from one city to another for job prospects? There are people in the sectors of banking, IT, hospitality, etc who shift to new locations on completing their academics or after a few years on the job, for better income and career growth. In that sense, they are also 'migrants'. So why not refer to these people who do hard physical labour as skilled professionals just like everyone else? The very term 'migrant' puts the person into a boxed category who are not considered to be on par with the rest of society.

    As others like Venkiteswaran have also stated, these skilled people have been around for ages. It is only because they hit the road to return home from their places of work that they suddenly came into the line of our vision. As for collecting data on them, keep in mind that information on them was collected in order to issue them a ticket to board the special Shramik trains and even, in some cases where good Samaritans stepped in, for boarding flights. People are now coming forward to induce them to travel back to the cities where they worked. I read a news report about builders in Hyderabad trying to get them back for on-site work by making air and AC train travel arrangements. Why didn't they take care of them when they were there, arrange accommodation and food and pay them wages during the lockdown? So by all means collect data, but don't make them mere stats stored in a computer. What they really need is better empathy and understanding from their employers.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #699022
    I am surprising to see that how the migrant workers will survive as they came from native to south for survival and now if they go back to respective places. When they can get job in their native means they would have not come down for job.
    Normally most of the employers of such migrant labours would have registered the details of them with respective government departments.

  • #699029
    Things are not cosy in their native places. It was reported in Malayalam newspapers that those who were impatient and hurried to their native places are now regretting at the lack of facilities there and yearn to return to Kerala where they were treated as honoured guests.

    While I was in Mumbai I used to wonder about the long queues of labourers from Bihar,UP in the Insurance Post counters of Post Offices. I had never seen such thing earlier. When I interacted with one person discreetly I got the information which surprised me about the ingenuity of the labourers. They were sending physical cash in the packets by insured post. When I asked why they can't send by MO the reason they said made me sit in wonder. When the Postman delivers MO money to the addressee, the amount is known to him and others. Then they will either demand money from them. They cannot deny and that will be problem. So they are sending cash by insured post. What ingenuity! How is the condition in their places

  • #699030
    It is a welcoming idea to collect the data of the skilled professionals to help them as well as the industries who are hiring them.
    One point suggested by the author is really disheartening, why should students collect such data? They are so many students struggling with stress as they have not completed their exams and the colleges are shut down mainly to take care of their health aspects. A few colleges have started online classes, so they are busy with grabbing knowledge.
    There are so many unemployed graduates who can be given this task so as to facilitate a minimum incentive as well give a start to put them on jobs. This opportunity will give them a peace of mind and relaxation.

    Lead the leader

  • #699032
    These labourers are in highlight due to the peculiar situation created by the Covid-19. It makes sense to create a data base but then it should be used to track them as well as provide them to the industries requiring them. It would also help in providing them quick employment. Govt has already a scheme of e-labour registration to acquire this data. I do not know whether labourers are registering there or not.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #699033
    At the starting point of lockdown, governments gave helping hands to migrants to stay back at respective states. The central government also allocated funds to give food and shelter to the migrant people. Time is going on but the turmoil of states and central governments have no stoppage but the scarcity of funds to retain the migrant people in respective states becomes a headache to the states. Therefore, with the help of central government, they were sent to their native places by special trains. But, in unlock1.0, industries and small firms are facing labor problems as the labor people had sent by the states. If the migrant people are fed by the industries and firms during lockdown period, now they could not face such problems. At least now, these industries and firms think about migrant people to save their life by giving a belief on their livelihood.
    I believe in a positive attitude. I like those who criticize me.

  • #699036
    There were so many packages announced by the government to its citizens similarly they have to announce about the e-registration portals in television, newspapers and through media. Then the impact of collecting of data would be quick and easy for the migrants to submit their personal informations.
    Lead the leader

  • #699050
    Presently the issue of migrants is being closely monitored by the Supreme court and every day activity is posted and directions sought. The center told that 3000 trains were sent to Bihar and UP from across the country and lakhs of migrants already reached the destination. Once the transport of all the migrants were done, then the real task of enumerating them would start. For the first time after Independence though many central and state governments have been formed, no one thought of having the right census of migrant and that is going to be done this year.. Probably for this reason the central government has postponed the regular census and the NPR to next year as it wants to have the right figure of migrants placed at different towns and cities and want to have the full data base of migrants to be submitted to the supreme court.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #699058
    A national registry of labourers would definitely help in finding out their deployment and availability in a particular part of the country. What is more important is the use that data for their benefit and well being. Whenever we start making a data base many problems start. A person would have his name at multiple places while another person would not be reflecting in the list. These are the practical difficulties in the system so prima facie it looks nice to say that we should have a depository where everything should be known about the people of this country but when we want to implement it then so many hitches come in executing that implementation. I am not talking in a negative sense but we have seen it happening during the implementation of the Aadhar card and other such national level endeavours for creating a common data base. In fact, logically thinking, there is no need to make a new data base as it can be retrieved from the Aadhar data itself by creating a field for occupation of individuals there. It is always better to improve the existing database rather than going for a new one.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #699081
    AS mentioned by members, we had migrant workers even before but never heard so much about them as now in the pandemic situation. If you have been to Mumbai, we can see migrant workers of all state working there to make a living and all happily working. From cleaner, sweeper, laundry, milkman, ironing, plumber, electrician, vegetable vendors, groceries, etc, everywhere we have migrant workers but never had so much of news.

    As Vandana mentioned (#699018), why do we call them migrants when many of the office or white-collar jobs are also migrants. Why do we differentiate only the labours and forget to consider the office staffs? We can call them a skill or unskilled workers as they have migrated to make a living.

    Now, coming to the main point of the post, it is true that many states do not have any data or its migrant workers and it becomes difficult in such situations. At the present situation, the state government can make sure that it collects data of every migrant worker and also keep on updating it in their database so as for their future reference. As many of the migrant workers have left for their state, it would be easy for the government to collect data and make an ID card for them.

    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #699091
    In a place, anyone who doesn't have a ration card can be termed as ' Migrant worker". Such workers should be identified, and their name should be registered at the concerned police station. Generally, the migrants are from the metropolis and large cities and towns. And they should be provided with an Identity card containing their complete details including their original place of residence in India with their contact address and Aadhaar number.

    A central government staff from one state working in another state should also be considered as a Migrant worker. And they should get their names registered at the concerned police station. This would increase the workload of the police stations but would be very helpful during any crisis.

    No life without Sun

  • #699096
    Why did the problem of these migrant workers come? The people who are not able to get any job or work near their native place they migrate to some other place where chances are more. But during the Corona problem, how they make the decision of going back to their native places. I can understand some people who have some fixed assets there can go there. But not all. Instead of sending them back, the government might have provided some food and shelter to all of them.
    It is always better to have statistics. But it is a very big task and at this juncture getting it done maybe a very huge task. However now all the information is available with various transporting agencies and State governments. Taking this as initial information further information can be collected and the database can be maintained.

    always confident

  • #699114
    Who are these migrants? These migrants are those who have no qualifications. They are mostly from the most backward Hindi-speaking States, with the most selfish of politicians who have always kept these people under a tight leash. It was reported that the great Mulayam Singh Yadav, under whose rule UP went from bad to worse, got a rule passed that one could pass the graduate examination only in Hindi and English need not be a compulsory subject at all. After a loud opposition, he had to eat his own words and bring back English as a subject. And one is told that the demand for English medium schools is the highest for the comparatively rich middle-classes from the cities of these BIMARU States.

    But where do these migrants come from? They come from the villages. One is sorry to say this, but hundreds of YouTube videos narrate the story. These villages are not like the villages we get to see in Tamil Nadu or Kerala. They have nothing. With pathetic infrastructure. Very poor bus connectivity. The rulers of AP, TN, Kerala, and Karnataka and later Telengana invested heavily in infrastructure and in creating jobs through IT. Except for Noida, which is near New Delhi, there is not a single IT story from the BIMARU States. The entire service sector was built around the earnings of these thousands of people, who earned more than Rs,.30,000 per month at the minimum.

    This is what has made the difference. Regarding the "educated migrants" that Vandana Madam has talked about, they are a totally different lot altogether. They belong to the balcony classes and can ring bells, and burn candles from their balconies. An Anand Sharma ( fictitious name), transferred as a bank manager to Chennai, will possibly live in Besant Nagar in an independent house. He will jolly well employ a servant for Rs. 6000 per month, and have a car to go around. His son or daughter would study in the prestigious Padma Seshadri CBSE school and he would be shopping at Phenix Mall. No issues.

    We always have two countries in one country. The two countries are totally different.

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