ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From Desperation to Destitution to Despair

      

The sixth anniversary of demonetisation occurs on 8 November 2022, and it is evident that the economically marginalised citizens of the country are yet to recover from its after-effects. Combined with the March 2020 “policy” response of a nationwide lockdown, the impacts are intergenerational and long term, resulting in a downward spiral—from desperation to destitution to despair. Migrant workers became visibilised in the most agonising manner— their heart-wrenching journeys will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience. Migration is not necessarily a one-way linear process as perceived within the broader paradigm of labour and livelihoods, workers going back to the rural roots and keeping the urban–rural continuum alive in numerous ways. Central are issues of sectoral, regional, horizontal, and vertical movements of workers and their earnings, the nature and level of dependence on remittances, the extent of permanent temporariness and permanent movement. An already structurally distressed agriculture is overburdened by not merely inappropriate policies but also declining financial allocations, including a drastic fall in the creation of rural employment.

The cumulative impacts of the two “policies” appear to function in tandem—collapse of employment and livelihood opportunities, permanently and negatively altered labour structures, unpaid wage dues, anarchy in skill status and hierarchy, indebtedness, homelessness twice over—the list is endless.

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Updated On : 10th Nov, 2022
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