- The recent targeted killings of migrant workers in Kashmir are not only unacceptable but also condemnable in the harshest ways possible for carrying out such a dastardly act on unsuspecting individuals making a living out far away from homes. In a civilized society where every single person is entitled to be treated equitably with full security extended to lives and livelihood stands threatened when unarmed civilians are killed mercilessly. Such a deplorable act has triggered an exodus of migrant workers leaving the valley to their respective states fearing the worst. This is one of the many hardships that millions of migrant workers are subjected to while they help build the nation’s progress by undertaking extremely demanding physical exertions after leaving the comforts of their homes to eke livelihood.
PC: India TV News Desk
- The other glaring challenge faced by the migrants is the growing rhetoric against them engendered by nativist politics which is sadly gaining traction in recent times. It is time we acknowledge how migrant workers are the source of cheap labour in destination states who despatch remittances back home thereby helping the economy to forge ahead at both ends. The economic logic is uncontestable but states often choose to ignore the obvious. Take for instance several states like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Karnataka having recently proposed or passed laws seeking to enforce job reservations for locals. Defeats the very purpose of encouraging migrant workers to shift base.
- And the same states wooed back the migrant workers when the national lockdown was lifted last year as factories were starved of labour. It needs to be mentioned here that there are certain categories of jobs spurned by locals that are shouldered by migrant workers with panache. Similarly, there are several progressive states short of high-skilled human capital requiring educated migrants to shore up the shortfall too. Thus, it makes imminent sense to open-heartedly welcome skilled and unskilled workers indicating in no uncertain terms the local economy is thriving by overcoming the supply shortfall of certain types of labour. Senselessly upholding parochialism aimed at consolidating vote banks will prove to be counterproductive in the longer run.
PC: Diganth Raj Sehgal
- The 2016-17 Economic Survey tracked annual interstate mobility to estimate 6 crores, interstate migrant workers. However, the Census 2011 indicated that India had 45.6 crore migrants which are nearly 40% of the population. The reason for such humongous migrants is largely owing to the post-1991 reforms opening the doors of opportunities across the country. The aftermath of the pandemic is gradually showing an economic upswing and hence, migrants should be made to feel welcome wherever they choose to make their homes. If India as a country wishes to be counted amongst the powerful, there is no way one can restrict the free flow of willing and hardworking migrants through skewed policies. Unyielding strategies like high-handedness and insular treatments will be of little help to the economy. Treat migrant workers with respect and they will deliver.