The Plight of Migrant Workers

This article has been co-authored by Ojasav Chitranshi of National Law University, Jodhpur and Stuti Dhawan of ILS, Pune. The article talks about different plights of migrant workers during Covid-19 lockdown in a summarized manner. 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction 
  • Who are migrant workers?
    • The defining image of India  
    • An unplanned lockdown
    • Desperation to go home
    • Starvation
    • Migrant workers in cities 
    • Brutality 
  • Shramik special trains 
  • Conclusion


COVID-19 pandemic and the eventuating loss of life and livelihoods, demonstrates a prodigious catastrophe- a socio economic calamity that has left all countries of the world in disarray. Countries across the globe are making headway to tackle this crisis. In pursuance to this the Indian government has also announced and enforced a nationwide lockdown as a combative measure to prevent the further transmission of the deadly virus without giving time for people to adjust to these stringent conditions. Though necessary, this move has unfortunately engendered a reverse exodus of migrant labourers, the magnitude of which has not been expected and witnessed till date. These migrant workers are the worst hit during this grave emergency period. “Whether they are international migrants or internal migrants, such workers are the most disproportionately affected given their inadequate and crowded living conditions, limited access to health care and basic services and exploitative labour system.”

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