Present Scenario – Macro Level
India is on its 29th day of lockdown today with over 18,000 confirmed cases of the noval coronavirus / COVID 19 to date. As per the data shared by Government shows that the corona curve is rising but at a slow pace. The central government's strategy to contain the coronavirus in the second phase of the lockdown includes dividing the districts based on the number of coronavirus cases and major testing exercise. Based on this, the government has divided the states into three zones -- red zone, orange zone, and green zones.
Besides the COVID 19 outbreak and fear of getting infected, the negative impact of lockdown on the life and livelihood of the poor and marginalised people are hunger and poverty. One of the leading newspapers in India, The Hindu shared in their report1 on 20th April 2020, that 96% of the migrant workers (11,159 surveyed) stranded in various states (between April 8th to 13th) did not receive rations from the government. Almost 90% of them did not receive their wages from their employers. Just yesterday (21st April) a 12-yearold migrant girl walking from the chili field of Telengana to her home in Chhatisgarh died just an hour away from her village. Like this many migrants have died on their way back home after lockdown. There is no data of people affected by hunger to date. Central and State Governments along with Civil Society Organisations are working hard to ensure that people have food, but the efforts are not adequate.
The Central government has said migrant labourers stranded across various states can go to work within states from 21st April, though they will still not be allowed to go back to native places until the lockdown measures are in place. As per the government, these workers should be registered with local authorities who will also carry out their "skill-mapping" to make it easy for such people to find suitable work.