How to provide employment to the migrant labourers returning home after undertaking a gruelling walk or other means form different parts of the country? It’s a matter of concern for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.
Modi has been holding brainstorming sessions with all stakeholders to find a solution to this problem that is bound to intensify in the days to come and has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into the issue. It is chaired by Union Minister for Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot, with Skill Development Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy as members.
The GoM has written to all states that they should collect the data of all migrant labourers who had returned on foot or by train as early as possible. It has also written that state government should prepare a database in which their names and skill base are listed. Information should be collected about which profession or industry the labourer who has returned was employed. The Union Skill Development Ministry will also write to states in this regard. The details along with name and addresses will be uploaded on the website as an when it comes from states. This will help ensure employment opportunity for the migrants.
The labour ministry will share the data with all central ministries and state government and will appeal to them to provide employment to migrant labourers in beneficiary schemes and ongoing construction projects and schemes such as the MNREGA, PM Awas Yojana, PM Gramin Sadak Yojana and the ongoing National Highway projects. While the Labour Ministry plans to appeal to private industries to employ these migrant labourers in the laying of optical fibre cables and construction of hotels, the Skill Development Ministry plans a massive training programme for them.
Thousands of migrant labourers walking back on foot is not going to erase from our memories in the days to come. But one thing is clear -- that the government has moved swiftly to ensure their lives return to normal. The GoM has started its meetings and made it clear that to help these workers come back to their normal lifestyles is the first priority of the government.