Highlights

  • About 72 per cent (out of 10,170 migrant workers) said their rations will finish in 2 days
  • A  majority of the workers were stranded in Maharashtra (4,823), followed by Karnataka (4,736), Uttar Pradesh (1,869) and Delhi (1,361)
  • Around 46 per cent (out of 1,385 groups of workers) had no money or rations left or had skipped the previous meal.

Hyderabad: Even as the central government claims that migrant workers are being provided money through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, an independent study found that around 64 per cent of migrant workers have less than `Rs 100 with them.

The study, which collected data from 16,683 workers who responded via distress calls, also found out that 97 per cent of these workers have not received any monetary aid from the government.

The study conducted by Stranded Workers’ Action Network (SWAN) is based on testimonies from migrant workers, collected from specific areas.

Though not representing the entire nation, the report shows that more than half of the migrant workers had ration left for less than a day. While this number increased to 54 per cent till April 14, it remained steady at the half-way mark later.

Further, about 72 per cent (out of 10,170 migrant workers) said their rations will finish in 2 days. The report also found that a majority of the workers were stranded in Maharashtra (4,823), followed by Karnataka (4,736), Uttar Pradesh (1,869) and Delhi (1,361).

Migrant Worker States

Government rations not reaching migrant workers

Considering the time period of around 32 days since the lockdown, the SWAN report found that about 82 per cent (out of 12,248) had not received ration from the government and 68 per cent (out of 9,743) had not received any cooked food.

Among the SOS or distress calls that the organisation received, around 46 per cent  (out of 1,385 groups of workers) had no money or rations left or had skipped the previous meal.

Migrant Worker Wages

Pending wages not paid

About 78 per cent of the migrant workers have not been paid their pending daily wages, the report found.

As of April 26, only about 6 per cent have received their full wages during the lockdown, excluding self-employed workers. It means that more than 7,000 workers out of 9,000 workers who were supposed to be paid during lockdown have not been paid.

Meanwhile, self-employed daily wage earners, who responded via SOS calls said they have been surviving without any income for more than a month till now, the report said.

Report recommendations:

  1. Double the PDS ration for 3 months (April, May, June) and provide it free in advance through doorstep delivery along with cooking oil, pulses, salt, masala, sanitary pads and soap to be distributed in advance to all.
  2. Emergency cash relief of Rs 7,000 per month for at least 3 months as cash (without biometric authentication) to each poor household/migrant worker.
  3. Minimum wages for 25 days per month to be released into Jan Dhan accounts
  4. Pay all registered Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers (job-card holders) their full daily wages throughout the lockdown period
  5. Boost employment opportunities in small towns

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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