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Reverse Migration of Labourers amidst COVID-19

Migrant workers returning to native places in COVID-19 times were the host for urban to rural transmission of cases as the migrant-receiving states witnessed over five times increase in the number of districts having a more significant concentration of COVID-19 cases from 1 May to 31 May 2020. There is an urgent need for the skill mapping of the migrant workforce and creating social security schemes to protect them under any socio-economic or health emergency.

The highly contagious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has overnight created a nightmare worldwide, leading to lockdowns in many countries, which have victimi­sed the informal sector migrant labourers in most of the developing countries like India. With increasing reverse migration of the workers, there was a common perception among various state governments that the migrant labourers are carrying COVID-19 from high contagion zones in metropolitan or million-plus cities to low-risk rural areas in the process of reverse migration amidst COVID-19. Given the inherent heterogeneity in employment opportunities and wage differentials in rural and urban ­areas, metropolitan cities and larger ­urban agglomerations have historically emerged as the hub for job opportunities for daily earners.

Impact on the Indian Economy

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Updated On : 17th Aug, 2020

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