Voices of the Invisible Citizens
Jan Sahas Social Development Society
Jan Sahas conducted telephonic interviews with 3,196 migrant construction workers from North and Central India to assess the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. This dataset is part of an ongoing study on longitudinal migration tracking (January 2019 to October 2020).
The survey covered the economic impact of employment loss, access to essential services, strategies to cope with the long-term effects of the lockdown, and the effectiveness of government schemes. The report also presents recommendations on the way forward.
• The survey demonstrates 14% labourers do not have ration cards. Immediate measures must be taken by the Centre and States to provide them ration to prevent hunger deaths.
• Their database shows that around 94% of labourers do not have BOCW cards making them ineligible for any BOCW related benefit transfer. The research demonstrates that 17% of labourers do not have bank accounts: Immediately explore multiple options of ensuring economic benefits reach migrants on time, through flexibility in options of availing economic relief (e.g. through Jan Dhan accounts, Aaadhar identification and cash payment at doorstep using Gram Panchayat and postal offices).
• A staggering 42% of labourers mentioned that they had no ration left even for the day,let alone for the duration of the lockdown.
• 31% of workers mentioned they have loans and they will find it difficult to repay it without employment
• The directive of the Central Ministry of Labour and Employment advised all public and private establishments to not terminate their employees, especially the casual or contractual labourers or reduce their wages: The surveys demonstrate 90% labourers (approx.) have already lost their source of income in the last 3 weeks.
• The survey shows that 62% workers did not have any information about emergency welfare measures provided by the government and 37% workers did not know how to access the existing schemes.
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