Covid lockdown impact: Migrants reluctant to bring their families back to cities, talk of 2nd lockdown raises fear

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April 08, 2021 12:18 PM

Jharkhand Joint Labour Commissioner Rakesh Prasad said that women are not at all ready to take the risk of going so far from their villages this time with their children.

Prasad further said that the increase in Coronavirus cases around the country during the second wave would again cause hardships for the labourers and it remains to be seen how they find a way to cope with that. (Credit: Gajendra Yadav, The Indian Express)

There are no official records however experts have pointed out a distinct overwhelming shift in the migration pattern over the past one year. Experts have said that mostly male labourers have been migrating back to their workplaces leaving their wives and children back at their hometown or villages, the Indian Express reported. Well, inter-state rural to urban migration in most cases begins with the male member of the family going out alone, looking for work, settling down and then calling his family to the city but due to Coronavirus even those labourers who had been living with their families in the city earlier are forced to shift back their families back.

NGO Phia Foundation which is responsible for running the Jharkhand Labour Department’s migrant control room told the Indian Express that women were very reluctant to move back with their husbands to the cities and workplaces. The NGO based its conclusions on the basis of data of more than 16000 migrant workers from Jharkhand who moved back to their workplaces. Echoing the finding, Jharkhand Joint Labour Commissioner Rakesh Prasad told the Indian Express that women are not at all ready to take the risk of going so far from their villages this time with their children. Prasad further said that the increase in Coronavirus cases around the country during the second wave would again cause hardships for the labourers and it remains to be seen how they find a way to cope with that.

Mukta Naik from the Centre for Policy Research said that the primary reason why male labourers are leaving their families in villages is the fact that they would be able to survive in harshest of adversities with more flexibility in the absence of their families. Benoy Peter, who is the Executive Director, Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development told the Indian Express that the trend will have a huge impact on gender disparity and would cause a break in the education of children.

Even in normal times, migration of labourers from villages to metropolitan cities does keep the economy running as labourers send remittances back to their families back in villages but skewed sex ratio, gender disparity, increased burden on women and crime are well known cons of migration.

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