India’s nationwide lockdown exposed the vulnerabilities of over 4 crore distressed internal migrants. The lockdown left hundreds of thousands of migrant workers stranded far from home without employment, shelter, food and social security. The disturbing images of the plight of the migrants on foot, over six lakhs as reported by the central government in the Supreme Court, was almost reminiscent of the exodus experiences of the people of Israel and the migration after the partition of India in 1947. The media showed images of thousands of migrants, including women and children, carrying their meagre belongings thronging to take buses back home from Delhi. All these images indicated how as a nation we failed our citizens and how we failed to protect the dignity of the migrants. It also exposed the insensitivity of our policy makers who failed to anticipate such a crisis.Login to read more
The author heads Labour & Migration Unit of ISI Bangalore and is Coordinator of GIAN-Migration Network in JCSA.