[WSMDiscuss] COVID-19 Pandemic- India's Informal Economy, Migrant Workers and Labour Rights

Umakant uk4in at yahoo.co.in
Wed May 20 17:04:41 CEST 2020

Dear Friends

Greetings! Ever since the ascendanceof neo-liberal regimes and capture of state power by the right wingmajoritarian political parties became a reality in recent years, the fate ofinformal economy, migrant workers in particular and labour rights in general hasbeen on the downslide. 


And now with the COVID-19 pandemicthe wretched of the earth are forced to walk down the roads of misery,destitution and death. The Dalits, Adivasis and the people belonging to OtherBackward Castes (OBCs) who form the overwhelming majority of casual/non-casualdaily wage earners in India’s informal/unorganized economy are paying a heavyprice now with their lives being destroyed slowly and gradually. Even other  workers in the organized and unorganized sectors arenot in a happy situation either.  


Would it lead to redemption forhumanity???  Or would it lead to AtmaNirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India)???


Do pass it on to others in yourcircle/network. 


The ModiSarkar’s Project for India’s Informal Economy

Barbara Harriss-White, Opinion, The Wire, May 20, 2020 



>From demonetisation to GST and now the lockdown, thegovernment's policies towards the 'unorganised sector' has spelt nothing butrack and ruin. 




Coronaviruslockdown: The Indian migrants dying to get home

BBC, May 20, 2020 



Tens of thousands ofdaily-wage migrant workers suddenly found themselves without jobs or a sourceof income when India announced a lockdown on 24 March. Overnight, the citiesthey had helped build and run seemed to have turned their backs on them, thetrains and buses which should have carried them home suspended. So with thelooming fear of hunger, men, women and children were forced to begin arduousjourneys back to their villages - cycling or hitching rides on tuk-tuks,lorries, water tankers and milk vans. For many, walking was the only option.Some travelled for a few hundred kilometres, while others covered more than athousand to go home.




With no relief in sight, unrest grows among migrantworkers trapped in cities

Shoaib Daniyal, Scroll, May 20, 2020 



On Tuesday, the Union government took steps to increase the numbers ofworker trains to ferry migrants back from states like Gujarat and Maharashtra.




FatherRiding Pillion, Girl, 15, Cycles 1,200 km To Get Home In Bihar

Press Trust of India, May 20, 2020 



The 15-year-old girl is determined not to let her father return toGurugram where he was driven to penury following an accident that rendered himunfit to make a living as an e-rickshaw driver.




Watch the Video: 13-year-old girldrives father home on a bicycle – from Gurugram, Haryana to Darbhanga, Bihar





As theCaravan of Migrant Labourers Departed, the City Stopped Being Our Home

Neera Chandhoke, Opinion, The Wire, May 18,2020 



Like the market, thecity has place only for those who can buy and sell. This became evident when inMarch 2020 the government deserted the most vulnerable section of our people. 




The Poor Take Charge of Own Destinyas Govts Look Away 

Seema Mustafa, The Citizen, May 18, 2020 





Labourlaws and rights in peril in India?

SabrangIndia, May 18, 2020 



A look at theevolution of labour rights in India and how the central and several stategovernments plan to stanch them away




ForIndia’s stranded workers, an impossible choice: Destitution or a dangerous roadhome

Niha Masih and JoannaSlater, Washington Post, May 15, 2020 

For India’s stranded workers, an impossible choice: Destitution or a dangerous road home 

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For India’s stranded workers, an impossible choice: Destitution or a dan...

More than 1 million laborers have left large cities during the nationwide lockdown.






With Regards 

Umakant, Ph. D 

New Delhi 


My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality. 
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