Bhopal: Nearly 90% of migrant labourers have not received any monetary help from the state government despite its promise, reveals a survey report conducted on 1,500 migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh.
The ten-page report revealed that 56.5% of the migrant labourers continue to remain unemployed, four months since their return to the state, with the majority of them having re-migrated. The survey said that 585 out of 1,291 people (around 45.3%) were not even aware of a single employment scheme that had been introduced for them.
The survey was undertaken by two law graduates, an engineering student and the Zenith-Society for Socio-Legal Empowerment, Shivpuri, with the aid of 60 volunteers. The researchers spoke to 1,500 migrants from 52 districts in Madhya Pradesh.
It said that 67% of the total respondents admitted that they do not have sufficient means to sustain their families and were in need of urgent support.
The survey report makes a mockery of the state government’s tall claims. It said that out of 13,10,186 migrant labourers who returned to the state after the lockdown in May and June this year, nearly 3.5 lakh migrant have been getting benefits under various schemes like Sambal Yojna, MGNREGA and due to construction work. The data is from the state government’s on the Rozgar Setu portal.
Furthermore, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had claimed that the state government had transferred Rs 10.50 crore to nearly 1.5 lakh migrants under various schemes. He added that 44, 640 migrants have got jobs as per their skill-set.
Yet, 90% of the migrant labourers claimed that they haven’t received any monetary help from the state government and 56.5% claimed they are unemployed even after four months.
As the migration of labourers began across the country in March and April this year, the Madhya Pradesh Government had announced that it would transfer Rs 1,000 directly into their bank accounts. It also assured that in case more money was required, it would be credited into their accounts. However, only 10% of the migrants got the money, the survey shows.
The report, titled ‘MP Migrant Worker Project’, further claimed that 43% of the migrants were engaged in some kind of work. Close to 22% have been employed in agriculture-related work or have been farming their own fields. “In some cases, the entire family works on a single field resulting in cases of disguised unemployment,” said the report.
A caste breakdown of the respondents revealed that out of 1,365 migrants, 33% belonged to Other Backward Class (OBC) communities, while 14.5% and 13.4% of those surveyed identified themselves as Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) respectively.
“The ground reality is totally different from the State Government’s tall claims,” said Rohit Sharma, one of the survey’s authors.
“The wages of labourers of post-lockdown have also been slashed drastically. About 49% of the respondents claimed that they are earning between Rs 300 and Rs 500 per day in Madhya Pradesh, a sum which was between 15% and 20% higher pre-lockdown,” he added.
Rakshita Agarwal, another surveyor, said that the report reflected responses of 1,500 migrant workers from different districts of the state. It is primarily concerned with their current employment status and the extent of state assistance received post-lockdown. “The full report, which deals with much more, will be published next month,” she said.