COVID 19 & Labour : opportunities and Challenges ahead for them

COVID -19  or specifically to say THE WUHAN VIRUS  has led the world to feeble position at time when the whole world was dealing with their own internal matters .CHINA’s first case was traced back to November 17 2019 but was never known to the world as Chinese government silenced the whistleblowers and downplayed the threat.  Director General of WHO DR. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who is ex health minister of EHTIOPIA , made it worse by trying to blanket this issue at initial stages where it could have been stopped to turning this to a pandemic the reason I say this is because there are many such instances where WHO has favored china , the reason being told is china has invested a lot of money  into ETHOPIA ,china has helped in many of their projects through “ONE BELT ONE ROAD INIATIVE”.

And ETHOPIA did not wish to displeasure CHINA here. WHO declared the pandemic on 11th March 2020 , and India went on lockdown from  24 March 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.3 billion population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic in India, which was quick when compared to other nations ,from JANTA curfew till date the nation has fallen apart many are spending quality times with their family at home, while some are still walking ,cycling and any means available on the earth to go and live with there families, while some are stranded out of the country in various other countries working ,students .Around 170 countries have restricted travel but the pandemic could fundamentally changing the long term phase of  global migration pattern and internal migration . In the case of India, these migrants are over 450 million, whose movement can be directly or indirectly linked to the search for employment.

The 2011 census reported over 41 million Indians migrated from rural to urban areas for work, now almost at the end of this decade, we can certainly expect a multi-fold rise in these estimations. India sees thousands of workers migrate overseas in search of job opportunities. In particular, there are an estimated 9 million Indian workers in GCC countries, most of whom are working in low-skilled jobs at low wages (which is still higher than the national minimum wage standard. Migration has always been a strategy that a majority of workers in India would have used to fulfill their aspiration to uplift from poverty and to access livelihoods that promise decent work.

People stranded not only in GCC countries but from many countries around the world this is a situation where there will be a strain on the resources in INDIA as many migrants around globe have lost their jobs and difficult to live in a country with no resources. To cherry on cake India was at its 45 year high unemployment peak 7.11% now it’s a alarming situation for the government on creating employment, health facilities, infrastructure etc  for internal migrants as well as coming from different countries , the migrants need to be supported with relevant information and counselling for job search and employment opportunities given their skills and previous experience through their local governance and panchayat structures, integrated into the social protection schemes that apply to local workers, and provided with referrals for continued health care and to address their grievances. Internal migration in huge numbers from metropolitan to states UP, MP etc, have now created strain on the state governments as well to create employment, because many of these migrant labourers are of stand to not to return to cities as they were the most affected due to inefficiency of states to take care of the migrants. According to the World bank report ‘COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens’ , nationwide lockdown in India due to COVID-19 has impacted nearly 40 million internal migrants.

Around 60,000 moved from urban centers to rural areas of origin in the span of a few days .The magnitude of internal migration is about two-and-a-half times that of international migration.  Internal migrants have faced issues in health services, food, cash transfer and other social programmes. They are vulnerable to the loss of employment and wages during an economic crisis. Lockdowns in labour camps and dormitories would increase the risk of contagion among migrant workers. The state boundaries became the sites of violent migrant-police encounters, as police resorted to beating migrants for having violated the lockdown orders.

Thousands of them, without any means of transport left to their villages back on foot, dying of starvation, fatigue, and road accidents. 

Here metropolitan cities are going to be affected as they can face labour shortage in coming days. Covid has turned to be a nightmare for the world ,this made the world realize not to be dependent on a single resource of manufacturing hub i.e china , now many of the countries of planning to shift their bases to INDIA which is great oppourtunity for INDIA to be the new manufacturing hub for the world, many companies have started coming in as India provides cheap labour , we have more than enough resources, we have land, recently Andhra Pradesh, a southern Indian state, is in touch with several companies from Japan, the U.S. and South Korea, UP has offered land twice of Luxembourg’s size. At the same time India lacks a few things which could draw these companies to countries like VEITNAM, this is because INDIA lacks in infrastructural development which attracts more corporates, companies tend to invest in countries with good health care facilities VEITNAM has pegged its currency to US dollars ,compared to INDIA where the currency is more volatile as it is a free floating currency which companies don’t prefer ,lastly compared to VEITNAM the cost of starting up a business in INDIA is way more lengthy in INDIA it takes up  to 27 days as there are 12 procedures while there only 8 procedures in VEITNAM which barely takes 10 days.

India attracted highest ever total FDI inflow of US$ 81.72 billion during 2020-21, 10% more than the last financial year. … India has attracted highest ever total FDI inflow of US$ 81.72 billion during the financial year 2020-21 and it is 10% higher as compared to the last financial year 2019-20 (US$ 74.39 billion). Lately while migrants have been depressed as there plight was addressed after a long period when the damage was done, the first time I felt a class divide was made between people is when buses was sent to kota in early april to extract students but not for these workers who made these roads.

We can hope that the new Social Security Code 2020 will do justice to the unorganized sectors. The ministry of labour and employment has mandated that the 12-digit Aadhaar number has got to be provided by employees and unorganised sector workers who are seeking registration, benefits or expect to receive any payment under various schemes under section 142 of Social Security Code 2020.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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