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Unlock 2.0: Migrant workers start returning to work from their native states, employers arranging buses and trains to bring workers back

The arrangements of the return journey of the migrant workers either on private buses or trains are being made by the employers through labour contractors

The migrant workers who had returned to their native places amidst the nationwide lockdown are now eagerly returning back to work as lockdown has been lifted in most places and the economy is slowly re-opening. A large number of workers have now started returning to Gujarat, as the workplaces in the state have been gradually restarted and the employers are calling their workers to resume work. On his return journey to Ahmedabad, a migrant worker was quoted by ANI as saying: “I am from Bihar. Recently, I got a call from my employer that work has started here so I am back now.”

Just weeks after the migrant workers left industrial states like Gujarat and Maharashtra to their home states during the lockdown, the return journey has already begun for many of them. Remarkably, the employers are calling back their existing workers, most of whom had assumed that they will never get their jobs back. Sonu Kumar, a skilled worker from Bihar told Times of India that not only his employer offered his job back, he has been also offered a hike in salary.

Workers are taking trains and chartered buses to return to their workplaces. The buses were sent by the employers to bring the workers back. According to labour contractors, buses have arrived in Bihar from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Kerala and other states to bring back the migrant workers who had earner returned home.

“The arrangements of their travel either on private buses or trains are being made by the employers through labour contractors. In a few cases, the employers are dealing with the workers’ return on their own,” said Raj Kumar Mandal, a labour contractor. S K Sinha, a retired public servant of Kishanganj, said that it is a win-win situation for both migrant skilled workers and the labour contractors. “Both are in great demand from private companies from across the country. While the salaries of the skilled workers have increased, the labour contractors are charging more from the companies,” he said.

Migrant workers bow down to their ‘Karmabhoomi’ before leaving for their hometown 

Last month, a scintillating picture of a migrant worker Krishnavati, bowing down to the land of Gujarat before boarding the Shramik Express, went viral on social media. The migrant workers who hailed from Uttar Pradesh were stranded in Ahmedabad amidst the Coronavirus lockdown.

Shramik Trains to the Rescue

In a remarkable development, the Indian Railway operated 145 Shramik special trains from across India on Thursday. An official from the Ministry of Railways had revealed that in this mission to send the migrants back to their native places, the Indian Railways had helped close to 2.10 lakh migrant labourers to return back to their homes on Thursday.

PM Modi launched Rs 50,000 crore Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to provide employment to returned migrant workers

After announcing a slew of measures under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to revive the economy following the Coronavirus lockdown and slowdown in the economy, the Narendra Modi govt had brought a mega rural works schemes to generate employment in rural India. The Rs 50,000 crore ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan’ aimed at providing jobs to migrant workers who have returned to their home states was launched by prime minister Narendra Modi on 20 June through Video-Conference.

The scheme will be implemented in 116 districts in six states, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odish. According to a statement issued by the govt of India, the campaign will run for 125 days on a mission mode. The scheme will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country on the other hand, with a resource of Rs. 50,000 crore.

116 districts in the 6 states, which have more than 25,000 migrant workers returned from other states, have been selected for the campaign.

The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan will create durable infrastructure in the areas where it will be implemented, apart from creating employment opportunities for workers.  This is expected to boost the livelihood opportunities in rural India.

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