COVID-19 and the migrant worker issues in India: In conversation with Mukta Naik

As per Census 2011, India has 454 million migrants - this accounts for 37% of the country’s population. However, according to Mukta Naik, an architect and urban planner at the Centre for Policy Research, only 12% move interstate while the majority move within states. She says that about 54 districts in India account for 50% of the interstate out-migration. 

Mukta Naik focuses her work on understanding the links between Internal Migration and Urbanization in the Indian context and is also currently a PhD candidate at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

In this interview she says that the COVID-19 crisis revealed the problems of the working classes overall. Migrants became visible because they started walking, violated the lockdown and upset the system. To help the migrant workers, Delhi set up temporary ration coupons, she says. Applicants had to register online and then were told where and when to collect their rations -   3.8 million households benefited from this scheme. Haryana also started an emergency ration system and conducted localised surveys in places where migrants are concentrated. 

Watch the full interview with Mukta Naik as she discusses the migrant worker issues in India as well as makes policy and governance recommendations:

Any opinions expressed in these conversations by the interviewer or the guest/interviewee are their own and not of the institutions they work for or are associated with in any capacity. The opinions expressed do not reflect the views of Connected to India. The management of the company does not assume any responsibility or liability for the article/interview. 

Author
SN Venkat
SN Venkat

SN Venkat is currently an Adjunct Faculty at Singapore Management University, where he teaches a course on Managing in a VUCA Context. He has been a regular contributor to newspapers in Singapore on various topics, many of which are related to India and Singapore.

He has rich experience in Global Marketing of Consumer products for about 20 years in emerging economies. He has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of third world trade, especially between Asia, South America and Africa. 

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