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News & Blog > Blogs: "Perspectives, Provocations & Initiatives" > Perspectives, Provocations & Initiatives: Covid-19 > Who are India's migrant workers & what's next for them?

Who are India's migrant workers & what's next for them?

Watch Abraham Abhishek (MADev02) interview Liby Johnson to find out who the migrant workers are who gathered in their thousands on India's streets when lockdown was announced and what's next for them.


On March 24, 2020, India announced the first of its many successive of lockdown, to combat the spread of #COVID19. Almost on cue, crowds of hundreds of thousands appeared at transport hubs in some of the big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Turned out, these were people who had migrated from rural areas, and were engaged in seasonal, low-paying jobs. They were trying to squeeze into the last buses and trains to get back home. Many of them walked, hundreds of kilometres.

In this two part video Liby Johnson, the Executive Director of Gram Vikas, an NGO that works in areas that are home to millions of such migrant workers is interviewed by IDS Alumnus Abraham Abhishek (MADev02). In Part 1 they help us to understand who these migrants are, their socio-economic background, their motivations to migrate. And why they didn't care to self-isolate or observe social distancing like the rest of the society. In Part 2, they discuss the challenges migrants face when they get back home. And what needs to be done to make migration a safe and dignified livelihoods option.

Part 1 - Who are India's migrant workers?


Part 2 -What next for India's migrant workers?

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