Letter to BS: Extended lockdown has exposed the plight of migrant workers

It would be a pity if we now fail to incorporate the exploited labour in the new scheme of things
This refers to the editorial “The govt's ad hoc response has worsened the migrant worker crisis” (May 5). The extended lockdown has exposed the plight of the migrant workers. India of the sixties had dignified the rural economy. Rural infrastructure support, that would have sustained income levels in agro-slack seasons, was soft-pedalled, resulting in migration. Now, as restless immigrants tried to set off for their villages, employers leveraged the lockdown to block the exodus in order to ensure continuity to their farm and factory outputs. This 140 mn strong migrant labour is vital to our economy, yet their status remains undefined. China has 300 mn, but it provides them more congenial work environment. It would be a pity if we now fail to incorporate the exploited labour in the new scheme of things.

R Narayanan  Navi Mumbai

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