The lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the plight of millions of migrant labourers across the nation. The need to not only safeguard lives but also livelihoods weighs on policy makers, communities and organisations.
Gram Vikas, which has been actively involved with some of India’s poorest communities since 1979, began working on a SAFE MIGRATION programme from 2019 in partnership with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (www.cmid.org.in).
The SAFE MIGRATION approach helped sharpen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nationwide lockdown and their consequences on the lives and livelihoods of migration dependent rural communities in Odisha.
SAFE MIGRATION revolves around providing occupational, emotional, financial and social security. Despite being an integral part of many service and manufacturing enterprises, millions of migrant labourers remain vulnerable.
Leveraging migration for reviving distressed rural economies, enabling migration as an informed choice rather than an act of desperation, securing financial transfers and improving social standing are key elements of the SAFE MIGRATION approach.
Following are links to key reports from Gram Vikas on migration that can be used (with due credit) for your features, analyses and enterprise reporting on the burgeoning crisis:
1) Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on migrant labourers from Odisha
A report on the pandemic’s impact on local economies and families supported by remittances, between ₹300 to ₹400 million annually, from migrant wage labourers in Kalahandi, Odisha.
2) Challenges of migrants and families left behind
The initial study (2019) detailed the challenges of long distance migrant labourers and their families, especially women and aged parents left alone in the villages. It informed the SAFE MIGRATION programme.
3) Khelo Bandhu, an initiative to promote the Bandhu helpline for stranded workers
A web story on migrant workers photo-documenting their lives in lockdown. This is a part of the larger Khelo Bandhu initiative, with different activities, to help them emotionally cope better with the lockdown and the associated uncertainties.
About Gram Vikas | www.gramvikas.org
Gram Vikas is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, working in partnership with village communities in remote, hilly and Adivasi dominated parts of Odisha since 1979. The mission of Gram Vikas is to ‘to promote processes which are sustainable, socially inclusive and gender equitable to enable critical masses of poor and marginalised rural people or communities to achieve a dignified quality of life’. Currently, our work is spread over 10 districts in Odisha and one in Jharkhand. It benefits approximately half a million persons in about 1,500 villages.