A Year After Exodus, No Reliable Data Or Policy On Migrant Workers – By Shreehari Paliath
A day before the lockdown was announced on March 24, 2020, the government told parliament that “it is not feasible to keep record/data of migrant labour workforce” because migrant workers tend to move often in search of employment. But over the next 68 days of the lockdown, as an unprecedented migrant worker crisis unfurled in India, it became clear that reliable data were critical to developing an effective migrant worker policy.
Between March 25 and May 1, 2020, distressed migrant workers, stranded without jobs, savings, shelter, food, transport or any organised support system, began long treks back home with their families and sparse belongings.
The homeward exodus of around 11.4 million migrant workers – more than the population of Uttarakhand – resulted in at least 971 non-COVID deaths, including 96 workers who died on trains….