Indian migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
|Cause||COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown|
|Part of a series on the|
Indian migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic have faced multiple hardships. With factories and workplaces shut down due to the lockdown imposed in the country, millions of migrant workers had to deal with the loss of income, food shortages and uncertainty about their future. Following this, many of them and their families went hungry. Thousands of them then began walking back home, with no means of transport due to the lockdown. In response, the Central and State Governments took various measures to help them, and later arranged transport for them. 198 migrant workers died due to the lockdown, with reasons of road accidents.
There are an estimated 139 million migrants in the country, according to the World Economic Forum. The International Labour Organization (ILO) predicted that due to the pandemic and the lockdown, about 400 million workers would be poverty-stricken. Most migrants in the country originate from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The cities of Mumbai and Delhi attract the highest number of migrants. While most men migrate for work, women migrate due to marriage.
Migrant workers consist majorly of daily-wage labourers working in the manufacturing and construction industries. They are often denied adequate healthcare, nutrition, housing and sanitation, since many of them work in the informal sector. They mostly hail from rural areas but live in cities due to work for most of the year. Many have no savings and stayed in factory dormitories, which were shut due to the lockdown. Additionally, there was no central registry of migrant workers, despite the existence of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979.
According to research published in the Royal Geographical Society, the workers who have been treated the worst are from areas like Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, in which the indigenous population's natural resources were extracted by outsiders. Further, workers paid the least for the hardest work belong to the backward classes, mainly from the Dalit and the Adivasi communities. The research also indicated that the families of the migrant workers supported them by maintaining their houses and taking care of them, either when seasonal work is unavailable or when they are no longer able to work.
Maharashtra has the largest number of migrants, according to the 2011 Census of India. Its state government imposed a lockdown on 20 March 2020 in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Nagpur, leaving the migrant workers with no work. Due to the lockdown, thousands then gathered at the train and bus stations, seeking transport to their hometowns but with the nationwide lockdown in place, all transport facilities were closed.
According to government reports, there was enough food grain stocked up in the FCI godowns to feed the poor for at least a year-and-a-half. While government schemes ensured that the poor would get additional rations due to the lockdown, the distribution system failed to be effective as the ration cards are area-specific and fair price shops were largely inaccessible. Additionally, the 'One Nation, One Ration Card' system has been implemented in very few states, as of mid April. While the scheme allowed migrant workers to retrieve foodgrains for free anywhere across the country, very few were aware of the scheme. In addition to this, the scheme also required biometric authentication, which was discontinued due to fears of spreading the virus through common fingerprint sensors. In Telangana, many could not avail the ration due to a lack of Aadhaar cards. As such, many were left without food and money due to the lockdown. A survey published by ‘The Hindu’ states that 96% migrant workers did not get rations from the government, and 90% of them did not receive wages during the lockdown.
On 14 September 2020, Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar stated in Parliament that information collected from state governments indicated an estimated 10 million migrants had attempted to return home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown. He later stated in Parliament on 15 September 2020 that no data was maintained on the number of migrants in the country who had either died, or become unemployed, as a result of the pandemic.
With no work and no money, and lockdown restrictions putting a stop to public transport, thousands of migrant workers were seen walking or bicycling hundreds of kilometres (or even more than a thousand kilometres) to go back to their native villages, some with their families. Many did so while hungry. Social distancing was not possible for these migrants since they travelled together in large groups. According to some of them, they would rather die from the virus at their own village than starve because of no work in the city.
Many were arrested for violating the lockdown, after being caught at inter-state borders, forests between states and even on boats to cross rivers. Some of the migrants died of exhaustion. Others died in accidents on the roads after walking or hiding in vehicles. On 31 March, as many as 120 migrant workers were allegedly beaten up by the police in Gujarat and forcefully rounded up in a single lorry and dropped in Maharashtra, despite being wounded. In Aurangabad, 16 migrants were killed on 8 May after a freight train ran over them while they were sleeping on the tracks, exhausted from walking. 26 migrants were killed in an accident between two trucks carrying migrants in Auraiya on 16 May. Later in May, a 15-year-old girl carried her ailing father on a bicycle for 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from Bihar to Gurugram over the course of a week. She was later approached to try out for the National Cycling Academy by the Cycling Federation of India.
Later in May, despite the launching of special trains and buses by the government, the migrant workers chose to either travel together in large groups in the cargo compartments of trucks and containers, or travel by foot. They did not wait or their turn to board the government-arranged transport, mainly due to starvation. Additionally, they felt that going back to their hometowns, they could return to farming and take up small jobs under the MGNREGA. The consumption of mobile and broadband data under BharatNet more than doubled in rural areas.
In September 2020, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai stated that the exodus of migrant workers had been caused by "panic created by fake news regarding the duration of lockdown."
Despite government promises and schemes to generate employment in rural areas, some migrant workers began going back to the cities due to lack of employment in their hometowns, as lockdown restrictions were reduced as part of Unlock 1.0 in June. A large number of these were returning to Mumbai. The reopening of the regular services of the railways also helped facilitate this. The cities, too, reported major shortages of labour, especially in the construction industry. A study conducted in April–May stated that 77% migrant workers were prepared to return to cities for work. The return of the migrants to cities is expected to help revive the economy, which had sustained an impact. Some employers sponsored the travel of migrants back to their workplaces. This included taxis, trains and even flights.
On 27 March, the Home Ministry ordered the states to ensure that migrants would not move during the lockdown, permitting the states to use the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for providing food and shelter to the migrants on 28 March.
On 29 March, the government issued sweeping orders directing that the landlords should not demand rent during the period of the lockdown and that employers should pay wages without deduction. It also announced that those who violated the lockdown were to be sent to government-run quarantine facilities for 14 days, and that it had asked state governments to set up immediate relief camps for the migrant workers returning to their native states. However, the order regarding payment of wages was withdrawn in the guidelines for the lockdown extension issued on 17 May.
On 16 May, the government announced the National Migrant Information System (NMIS), an online database created by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). This was to help streamline the movement of the migrant workers. It will help states find the current number of stranded migrant workers and their location. The government planned to keep the workers updated by feeding their phone numbers in the system.
On 14 July, the Ministry of Human Resource Development requested the state governments to create a database of children in rural areas who have migrated.
Soon after the central government directive in late March, state governments set up thousands of camps to house lakhs of migrants and stop the exodus. Delhi government provided free food to 4 lakh people every day, as of late March. Over 500 hunger relief centres were set up by the Delhi government. By 5 April 75 lakh people were being provided food across the country in food camps run by the government and NGOs. As of 12 April, 37,978 relief camps and 26,225 food camps had been set up.
To cater to the needs of the migrants and prevent them from leaving the camps, the government of Kerala changed the food being provided by adding north Indian dishes to the menu, providing carrom boards and recharge facilities for phones, as well as provide other medical essentials such as masks, sanitizers, and medicines.
As of 28 May 9.1 million migrants had travelled back home in government-arranged transport facilities. However, according to the Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN), migrants were confused about the exact procedures to register themselves for travel. Additionally, many state registration portals were either in English or the local language of the states they lived in, which very few migrants could understand. Further, general lack of information from the government to the migrants had resulted in them paying large sums of money to register themselves.
In late March, the Uttar Pradesh government decided to arrange buses at Delhi's Anand Vihar bus station to take the migrants back to their villages for free. Large crowds then gathered at the bus station. However, with the extension of the lockdown, many remained stranded till the last week of April, when the state governments were permitted by the central government to operate buses, but not trains. As of 23 May 4 million migrants had travelled to their homes by buses. Condition in the buses is generally poor, with social distancing being impossible due to overcrowding and higher fares being charged than promised.
Shramik Special trains
On 1 May, the central government permitted the Indian Railways to launch "Shramik Special" trains for the migrant workers and others stranded. On 3 May, the Ministry of Home Affairs mildly reprimanded the state governments for hurriedly requesting for trains to transport migrants, stating that the trains were primarily mainly meant for those who were stranded due to the sudden lockdown, and not the migrants. Additionally, this service was not free, with additional charges over the normal fares. The central government then faced criticism from the opposition, with the Indian National Congress promising to sponsor the tickets of the migrants on 4 May. The government then announced that the Railways would offer an 85% subsidy on the train fares, with the state governments funding the remaining 15%. However, the migrants were still forced to pay an undisclosed amount in some cases. The central government initially declined to share the details regarding this with the Supreme Court, but later confirmed that it was not paying for anyone's fare. Additionally, the central governments directives regarding which states should pay for the migrants' travel resulted in disagreement between Maharashtra and other states.
A few days after the Shramik Special trains were introduced, the Karnataka government cancelled the trains (reportedly supporting the construction industry) and the Bihar government did the same to trains coming from Kerala (refusing to provide a No-Objection Certificate). The two states later reverted their decisions.
Further, migrants faced many hardships while travelling by these trains. Many reported to have no food and water arranged for them while they travelled. A train from Goa to Manipur reported a 58-hour delay, no proper food or sanitation facilities on the train, and stone pelting. Others who received food packets and water reported that the provisions were simply dumped at the entrances, leaving workers fighting with each other for their share. Some migrants also died during the train journeys, but the Railways stated that most of them had existing illnesses. According to Railway Protection Force, there have been almost 80 deaths on board the Shramik Special trains between 9 and 27 May. In addition, these trains spread the coronavirus around the country.
50% of the coaches converted into COVID-19 care centres were used for these trains. As per a report given by the Indian Railways on 23 May, migrant labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were 80% of the train travellers. Additionally, it was expected that 36 lakh migrants would be travelling in the ten days after the report. 4,277 Shramik Special trains had transported about 60 lakh people, as of 12 June.
Soon after the nationwide lockdown was announced in late March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a ₹1.7 lakh crore (US$23 billion) spending plan for the poor. This consisted of cash transfers and steps to ensure food security. By 3 April, the central government had released ₹11,092 crore to states and UTs under the NDRF, to fund food and shelter arrangements for migrants. To help provide jobs and wages to workers, the average daily wages under the MGNREGA were increased to ₹202 (US$2.70) from the earlier ₹182 (US$2.40), as of 1 April. ₹1,000 crore from the PM CARES Fund was allocated for the support of migrant workers on 13 May. On 14 May, FM Sitharaman further announced free food grains for the migrant workers, targeting 80 million migrant workers by spending ₹35 billion (US$460 million).
The government of India launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan initiative to tackle the impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers in India. It is a rural public works scheme which was launched on 20 June 2020 with an initial funding of ₹50,000 crore (US$6.6 billion) for 116 districts in 6 states.
The governments of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat sought to temporarily revise their labour laws in early May with the purpose of attracting industries and investments. Labour unions criticized this as being harmful to the migrant workers while giving more authority to the employers. Ten of them then wrote to the ILO on 14 May regarding the same, to which the ILO responded by reassuring them that it had contacted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Many states reported high numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 among the migrants returning home as lockdown restrictions eased. State governments opened thousands of quarantine centres to house them, with some states imposing mandatory institutional quarantine. States also imposed strict measures for migrants to follow, either while leaving or after entering state borders.
Conduct towards migrant workers
"In the cities they treat us like stray dogs. Why would they treat us any better now?"
— A migrant worker describing the treatment he received on a "Shramik Special" train
Migrant workers who decided to stay back during the exodus faced assault from their neighbours, who accused them of being infected with coronavirus. They thus could not venture out to buy food. Many also faced police brutality if they ventured out of their homes.
Upon their return to their hometowns and villages, they were treated with either fear or a "class bias", being hosed down with disinfectants or soap solution in some cases. They were feared to be carrying coronavirus from the urban areas where they had been employed. They faced assault and harassment from the people of their hometowns. Since many of them belonged to the lower castes, they had to face caste slurs. Thousands got into property disputes.
Migrants travelling by Shramik Special trains reported that food and water provisions were either not provided or simply dumped at the entrances of the trains, leaving workers fighting with each other to get their share. Passengers then hurriedly filled their water bottles at the railway stations that the trains stopped at.
Many migrant workers expressed a fear of returning to their old jobs in the cities, after facing unemployment during the lockdown. Companies reported labour shortages from mid-April. Estimates state that this would last for at least another six months.
Supreme Court hearing
The Supreme Court of India agreed to hear a petition on behalf of the migrant workers on 30 March. The Court asked the central government to file a status report with respect to the situation of migrant workers. In its report, the central government stated that the migrant workers, apprehensive about their survival, moved in the panic created by fake news that the lockdown would last for more than three months. The court added that it was satisfied by the government response thus far.
A plea requesting payment of minimum wage was rejected by the Court on 21 April, on the grounds of workers already being provided free meals.
On 16 May, the Supreme Court rejected a PIL to direct the District magistrates to identify and provide free relief and transport to the migrant workers, stating that it was the responsibility of the state governments. Speaking about the workers killed sleeping on the Aurangabad railway tracks, the Court stated that it could not have been prevented. Further, the central government stated that inter-state transport had already been provided to the migrants and requested them to wait their turn instead of choosing to walk.
On 26 May, the Supreme Court admitted that the problems of the migrants had still not been solved and that there had been "inadequacies and certain lapses" on the part of the governments. It thus ordered the Centre and States to provide free food, shelter and transport to stranded migrant workers. Hours before this ruling, senior lawyers from Mumbai and Delhi wrote a strongly-worded letter to the Court, regarding its "self-effacing deference" towards the government thus far.
"The rich will get all the help, getting rescued and brought home in planes from abroad. But we poor migrant labourers have been left to fend for ourselves. That is the worth of our lives."
— A weeping migrant worker stuck in Delhi, who could not see his dying son in Bihar
The Ministry of Labour and Employment stated in September 2020, in Parliament, that the Government of India had not maintained any data on the number of migrant worker deaths that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Unofficial estimates have been prepared by a number of sources. A group of independent researchers were quoted by CNN-News18 as stating that 971 deaths not directly caused by COVID-19 diagnoses had occurred as of July 2020, basing their total on news reports of such deaths during the lockdown. The causes for these deaths have been reported as with reasons ranging from starvation, suicides, exhaustion, road and rail accidents, police brutality and denial of timely medical care. Among the reported deaths, most were among the marginalised migrants and labourers. 80 died while travelling back home on the Shramik Special trains, in the one month since their launch.
Notably, on 8 May, a freight train killed 16 migrants who had stopped to rest on railway tracks near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. On 14 May, eight migrant workers were killed and nearly 55 injured when the truck they were in collided with a bus near Guna, Madhya Pradesh. On 16 May 24 migrant workers were killed and many more were injured when a trailer carrying migrants (along with sacks of lime) rammed into a stationary truck, also carrying migrants, in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh. According to data collected by SaveLIFE Foundation, an NGO working in road safety, 198 migrant workers were killed in road accidents, as of 2 June.
Thousands of migrants have since protested across the country, for reasons ranging from demanding transport back home, quality of food served, not being allowed to cross the border, and against government directives preventing them to walk home. Some of the protests turned violent.
Labour unions organised nationwide protests to protest the changes in labour laws, with the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh organizing one on 20 May and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and the All India Trade Union Congress organizing another on 22 May. Seven left parties wrote to the President to intervene in the issue. Ten labour unions wrote to the International Labour Organization (ILO) regarding the labour laws, on 14 May. In response, the ILO expressed "deep concern" to PM Modi and requested him to instruct the central and state governments to uphold commitments (towards labour laws) made by India.
Negative comparisons have been made between the situation of many domestic migrants and Indians abroad: Shekhar Gupta criticized the media and Modi for focusing on the Vande Bharat Mission and thus the more affluent at the expense of the working class. Some politicians criticised the central government for not focusing enough on migrant workers. NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant, admitted that the migrant workers could have been better taken care of and stated that it was the responsibility of the state governments. Economist Jean Drèze stated that the lockdown had been "almost a death sentence" for the underprivileged of the country, further stating, "The policies are made or influenced by a class of people who pay little attention to the consequences for the underprivileged".
- Slater, Joanna; Masih, Niha (28 March 2020). "In India, the world's biggest lockdown has forced migrants to walk hundreds of miles home". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Singh, Kanika (6 April 2020). "Coronavirus outbreak: Ensuring water, hygiene facilities for migrant labourers can safeguard millions stranded during shutdown". Firstpost. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- Abi-Habib, Maria; Yasir, Sameer (29 March 2020). "India's Coronavirus Lockdown Leaves Vast Numbers Stranded and Hungry". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Rashid, Omar; Anand, Jatin; Mahale, Ajeet (4 April 2020). "India coronavirus lockdown | Migrant workers and their long march to uncertainty". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "More than 21,000 camps set up for over 6,60,000 migrants: State governments". The Economic Times. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Coronavirus lockdown | Over 60,000 people have registered on Delhi govt portal to go back home". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. 15 May 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "India to Provide Free Food Grains to Millions of Migrant Workers". The New York Times. Reuters. 14 May 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- Gunasekar, Arvind (30 April 2020). "Buses Not Feasible For Moving Migrants, States Appeal To Centre: Sources". NDTV. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Bhargava, Yuthika (1 May 2020). "Coronavirus lockdown | Railways to run 'Shramik Special' trains to move migrant workers, other stranded persons". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- "Migration worker death".
- Sharma, Krishnavatar (1 October 2017). "India has 139 million internal migrants. They must not be forgotten". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Nair, Shabarinath; Verma, Divya (19 May 2020). "A Policy Framework For India's Covid-19 Migration". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Jha, Abhishek; Mohammad Kawoosa, Vijdan (24 July 2019). "What the 2011 census data on migration tells us". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Bhowmick, Nilanjana (27 May 2020). "'They treat us like stray dogs': Migrant workers flee India's cities". National Geographic. Khandelwal, Saumya. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Frayer, Lauren; Pathak, Sushmita (31 March 2020). "Coronavirus Lockdown Sends Migrant Workers on a Long And Risky Trip Home". NPR. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Srivastava, Roli; Nagaraj, Anuradha (29 April 2020). "As migrant workers struggle for lockdown aid, India seeks to count them". Reuters. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Shah, Alpa; Lerche, Jens (13 July 2020). "The five truths about the migrant workers' crisis | Opinion". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
- Singh, Siddhartha; Parija, Pratik (24 March 2020). "India Has Enough Food to Feed Poor If There's a Prolonged Shutdown". BloombergQuint.
- Kumar Gunjan, Rounak (15 April 2020). "Impatient, Starving, Angry: As India Extends Lockdown, Stranded Migrant Workers Emerge as Crisis in Making". News18. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Jebaraj, Priscilla (8 May 2020). "Inter-State ration card portability usage very low: Food Minister". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Vadlamudi, Swathi (19 April 2020). "Sans Aadhaar, no ration for migrants". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Nagaraj, Anuradha; Srivastava, Roli (27 March 2020). "Indian migrant workers walking home dial for help". Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Shaji, Liyana. "Flattening the Curve at the Expense of One's Constitutional Rights?". Centre for Constitutional Research and Development. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Sharma, Yogima Seth. "Labour minister Gangwar clarifies his response on migrant workers in Parliament". The Economic Times. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- Nath, Damini (14 September 2020). "Govt. has no data of migrant workers' death, loss of job". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- Pandey, Vikas (20 May 2020). "The Covid-19 migrants who never got home". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- Jaiswal, Pankaj (26 March 2020). "Coronavirus update: A long walk home on empty stomachs for masked migrants". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Sharma, Mihir (1 April 2020). "Coronavirus Exposes India's Official Callousness". BloombergQuint.
- Dutt, Barkha (15 May 2020). "There is a humanitarian crisis in India. Lift the lockdown, now". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- Babu, Venkatesha; Saini, Sachin; Swaroop, Vijay (8 May 2020). "Across the country, migrants still forced to walk thousands of miles". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Elsa, Evangeline (21 April 2020). "Coronavirus lockdown: 12-year-old Indian migrant worker walks 100 km, dies just 11km away from home". Gulf News. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Warsi, Zeba (7 May 2020). "42 Migrant Workers Died in Road Accidents While Trying to Return Home during Lockdown: Report". News18. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Shantha, Sukanya (7 April 2020). "Gujarat Police to Probe Allegation That Migrant Workers Were Forced into Container Trucks". The Wire.
- Nandi, Shreya; Bhaskar, Utpal (8 May 2020). "Migrants' deaths on the tracks a wake-up call for India". Livemint. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- "Auraiya road accident: Two more migrant workers die, toll rises to 26". Hindustan Times. 17 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Gettleman, Jeffrey; Raj, Suhasini (22 May 2020). "'Lionhearted' Girl Bikes Dad Across India, Inspiring a Nation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Venkatraman, Tanushree; Chauhan, Saurabh; Dey, Sanjoy; Mishra, Ritesh (16 May 2020). "In long walk back home, migrants battle hunger, scourge of Covid-19". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- "AP PHOTOS: An Army of Indian Migrant Workers Heads Home". The New York Times. The Associated Press. 16 May 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 May 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Aryan, Aashish (15 July 2020). "As migrant workers returned home, rural data use spiked". The Indian Express. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
- Chatterjee, Mohua (15 September 2020). "Covid-19: 'Panic due to fake news' led to migrant exodus, no record of number of deaths, govt says". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- Pandey, Alok (28 June 2020). ""Coronavirus Better Than Hunger," Say UP Migrant Workers Going Back To Work". NDTV.com. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- Fredrick, Oliver (3 June 2020). "Lucknow's 'lifeline' to Mumbai back on track". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- Mahale, Ajeet; Bharadwaj, K. V. Aditya (27 June 2020). "After turning their backs during lockdown, cities now want migrant workers back". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- Manjula, R.; Rajasekhar, D. (17 May 2020). "77% of migrants plan to return to work in cities: Study". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- Patnaik, Ila (5 June 2020). "Why migrant workers are starting to return to cities & how this can revive economy faster". ThePrint. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- Jagga, Raakhi (9 June 2020). "Trains, taxis, even flights: Return of migrant workers continues in Punjab". The Indian Express. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- "4 crore migrant workers in India; 75 lakh return home so far: MHA". The Tribune. 23 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Pandey, Devesh K. (29 March 2020). "Coronavirus | Migrant workers to be stopped, quarantined at borders, says Centre". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
- Dubey, Vivek (29 March 2020). "Coronavirus crisis: Landlords can't ask rent from students, workers for 1 month". Business Today.
- Joy, Shemin (18 May 2020). "Govt withdraws order of mandatory wage payment during lockdown". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Tiwary, Deeptiman (17 May 2020). "To streamline movement of migrants, Centre launches portal". The Indian Express. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- "HRD Ministry issues guidelines to states, UTs regarding education of migrant workers' children". Hindustan Times. Press Trust of India. 14 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
- "Coronavirus :Delhi govt to feed 4 lakh people from tomorrow; ready for even 1,000 cases a day, says Kejriwal". The Hindu. 27 March 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
- Mathur, Atul (28 March 2020). "Delhi lockdown: Over 500 hunger relief centres set up for 4 lakh people". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
- "Over 75 lakh being fed at food camps: MHA". The Tribune. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "COVID-19 situation: Nearly 38,000 relief camps set up for migrant labourers, Govt to SC". The Indian Express. 27 April 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Arnimesh, Shanker (18 April 2020). "Rotis, mobile recharges, carrom boards – how Kerala fixed its migrant worker anger". ThePrint. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- "Coronavirus lockdown | Don't charge migrant workers bus or train fare, says Supreme Court". The Hindu. 28 May 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Mitra, Ritwika (13 May 2020). "Migrant workers do not know procedures: Stranded Workers Action Network". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- Jha, Somesh (29 March 2020). "Fighting Covid-19: After the long walk, jobless migrants head home by bus". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
- Anand, P. (28 May 2020). "An anguished lullaby, fights for seats, water: 24 hours on a Shramik Special". The Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Gupta, Shishir (3 May 2020). "Send only stranded migrants: Centre tells states". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- "Shramik special trains | Migrant workers, other stranded people to pay ₹50 more to get home". The Hindu. 2 May 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Anuja; Varma, Gyan (4 May 2020). "Congress' move to sponsor rail fare for migrants sparks political tussle". Livemint. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- "'Humble Contribution': Sonia Gandhi Says Congress to Bear Rail Travel Cost of Migrant Workers, Slams Govt". news18.com. 4 May 2020.
- "Under Opposition Pressure, Modi Govt Issues Misleading Explanation on Migrants' Rail Fare Breakdown". The Wire. 5 May 2020.
- "Government can't tell Supreme Court if it is paying 85% rail fare". The Telegraph. Kolkota. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- Dhingra, Sanya (28 May 2020). "Modi govt finally clarifies it's not paying Shramik Express fare, says states footing bill". ThePrint. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Saha, Poulomi (4 May 2020). "Migrants' fare row: States paying for special trains, only Maharashtra charging". India Today. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- Kulkarni, Chiranjeevi (6 May 2020). "Coronavirus lockdown: Karnataka cancels inter-state trains fearing labour shortage". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- "Coronavirus | 5 trains cancelled in Kerala over NOC". The Hindu. 5 May 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Sharma, Maya (9 May 2020). "4 Migrant Trains From Karnataka Today As Services Restart After Criticism". NDTV.
- "Shramik Special trains resume, five services operated". The Hindu. 6 May 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
- Taskin, Bismee (7 May 2020). "11 hrs in train 'without food and water': Migrant workers on reaching Bareilly from Ludhiana". ThePrint. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Lahariya, Khabar (15 May 2020). "'No food, no water, no money': Back in UP's Banda on Shramik Special, migrant labourers look back on long journey home". Firstpost. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Haksar, Nandita (27 May 2020). "Filthy toilets, attacked with stones: For North East workers from Goa, a 119-hour nightmare on rails". Scroll.in. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Rashid, Omar (27 May 2020). "Coronavirus lockdown | 5 persons on Shramik Special trains die in U.P." The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- Srivastava, Piyush (25 May 2020). "Migrant on Shramik Express dies hungry". The Telegraph. Kolkota. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- "Without Food for Days and in Searing Heat, Migrants Die on Shramik Special Trains". The Wire. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- "10-month-old Baby, Migrant Worker Die on Board Shramik Trains; Kin Blame Railways' Apathy". News18. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- Dutta, Anisha (28 May 2020). "After several deaths in Shramik trains, railways says most died of existing illness". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
- Dutta, Anisha (30 May 2020). "Railway Protection Force reports 80 deaths on Shramik trains". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
- Raj, Suhasini (15 December 2020). "The Virus Trains: How Lockdown Chaos Spread Covid-19 Across India". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
- J. Jagannath, ed. (23 May 2020). "In next 10 days, 36 lakh migrants will travel on Shramik Special trains: Railway". Livemint. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- Nandi, Shreya (12 June 2020). "Indian Railways receive request for 63 Shramik Special trains". Livemint. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- Beniwal, Vrishti; Srivastava, Shruti (26 March 2020). "India Unveils $22.6 Billion Stimulus Plan to Ease Virus Pain". BlooombergQuint.
- "Centre releases Rs 4431 crore to clear pending wages under MGNREGA, to pay all dues by April 10". The Economic Times. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Sharma, Akhilesh; Prabhu, Sunil (13 May 2020). "Rs 3,100 Crore From PM CARES Fund Allocated For Ventilators, Migrants". NDTV. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- "PM Modi launches Rs 50,000-crore Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to generate jobs". Hindustan Times. 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- "Rs 50,000 crore, 116 districts, 6 states: PM Modi launches mega Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan". Hindustan Times. 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- "Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan: PM Modi to launch mega Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan today". The Times of India. 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Awasthi, Prashasti (8 May 2020). "UP government suspends all labor laws except three to lure industrialists". Business Line. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Jha, Somesh (7 May 2020). "Covid-19 crisis: UP exempts biz from all but 4 labour laws for 3 years". Business Standard India. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- "The new labour rules in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh". The Economic Times. 9 May 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- "ILO expresses deep concerns over labour law suspension, tweaking to PM Modi". The New Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Ghoshal, Devjyot; Jadhav, Rajendra (4 June 2020). "India's urban COVID-19 outbreak is morphing into a rural health crisis". Reuters. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
- Singh, Santosh; Sheriff M, Kaunain (15 May 2020). "Next challenge for Odisha and Bihar: Virus coming home with migrants". The Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- "Migrant workers return, bring home the virus: How states are building Covid walls". The Times of India. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Raj, Dev (8 April 2020). "Migrants pay price of staying back in Delhi". The Telegraph (India). Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Rashid, Atikh (20 May 2020). "Migrant workers return home against all odds — only to be seen as carriers of the virus". The Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Kumar, Chandan; Mohanty, Debabrata (10 May 2020). "Migrant workers battle stigma, bias back home". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Sharma, Saurabh; Jain, Rupam (4 June 2020). "India's mass exodus from cities triggers village property disputes". Reuters. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
- Nagaraj, Anuradha; Srivastava, Roli (28 May 2020). "No way back: Indian workers shun city jobs after lockdown ordeal". Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Modak, Sadaf (22 April 2020). "Not just hunger, psychological factors, job insecurity behind migrants' exodus". The Indian Express. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Chaudhary, Archana; Kotoky, Anurag (16 April 2020). "Migrant Workers in India May Shun Cities After Lockdown". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Vaidyanathan, A (29 March 2020). "Supreme Court To Hear Petition On Migrants Amid Lockdown Today". NDTV.
- "'Panic, Fear Bigger Problem Than Coronavirus': SC On Plea On Migrant Workers' Exodus". Outlook. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- "Plea on state of migrant workers: SC says it doesn't want to interfere in govt decisions". The Indian Express. 8 April 2020. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Chaturvedi, Arpan (1 April 2020). "Government Effort To Restrain Media Coverage Of Pandemic Met With Supreme Court Caution". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Rajalakshmi, T. K. (1 April 2020). "Centre blames media 'fake news' for mass migration during lockdown". The Hindu Frontline. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- "Judiciary failed to protect citizens' rights amid Covid-19 pandemic: Dushyant Dave". Hindustan Times. 23 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- G, Ananthakrishnan (16 May 2020). "'Can't stop or monitor their movement on roads': SC rejects plea seeking relief for migrants". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- Rajagopal, Krishnadas (26 May 2020). "Supreme Court orders Centre and States to immediately provide transport, food and shelter free of cost to stranded migrant workers". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Rajagopal, Krishnadas (27 May 2020). "Hours before taking up migrant workers issue, Supreme Court got stinging letter from senior lawyers". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- "Coronavirus lockdown:Image of a weeping Rampukar Pandit becomes symbol of India's migrant worker tragedy". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. 17 May 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "Parliament session: No data available on migrants' deaths during lockdown, says govt". The Indian Express. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- "While Centre Has 'No Such Data' on Deaths of Migrants & Job Losses, Here's What Reports Say". News18. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- Elsa, Evangeline (15 April 2020). "The human cost of India's coronavirus lockdown: Deaths by hunger, starvation, suicide and more". Gulf News. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- "Suicide leading cause for over 300 lockdown deaths in India, says study". The Economic Times. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Gettleman, Jeffrey; Raj, Suhasini; Kumar, Hari (8 May 2020). "As India Reopens, Deadly Accidents Break Out". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Mohanty, Debabrata (15 May 2020). "56-year-old migrant dies on road to home, another dies after police lathi charge". Hindustan Times.
- Vij, Shivam (13 April 2020). "More than 300 Indians have died of the coronavirus, and nearly 200 of the lockdown". ThePrint. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Agarwal, Kabir (10 May 2020). "Not Just the Aurangabad Accident, 383 People Have Died Due to the Punitive Lockdown". The Wire. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
- Elsa, Evangeline (31 May 2020). "Coronavirus in India: 80 migrant workers have died on Shramik Special trains, Indian tweeps furious". Gulf News. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- "Indian Authorities Probe Deaths of Migrant Workers on Trains". The New York Times. Associated Press. 29 May 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- "Coronavirus lockdown: So far, over 130 migrants killed in accidents en route to their home states". The IndianExpress. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
- "India coronavirus lockdown: Road accident kills 24 migrant workers". BBC. 16 May 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
- Dutta, Anisha (2 June 2020). "198 migrant workers killed in road accidents during lockdown: Report". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- Sharma, Maya (5 May 2020). ""They Told Us They Would Take Us Home": Migrants Protest In Karnataka". NDTV.com. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Gujarat lockdown: Protests by migrant workers erupt again in Surat, this time over quality of food being served". The Financial Express. 16 April 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Not allowed to enter UP after walking 200 km, migrants protest". The Tribune. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Faraz Ahmad, Qazi (17 May 2020). "Thousands of Migrants Protest, Block Mathura Highway After Yogi Adityanath's No Movement on Foot Order". News18. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Rai, Piyush (18 May 2020). "Over 6,000 Bihar migrants protest in Saharanpur". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Naim, Shahira (17 May 2020). "Trouble at borders as migrants protest at being stopped from entering UP". The Tribune. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Mazdoor Sangh to Hold Nationwide Protest Against Dilution of Labour Laws Tomorrow". News18. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Mukerjee, Shikha (20 May 2020). "Here's Why Trade Unions Have Called for a Nationwide Protest on May 22". The Wire. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Haq, Zia; Chatterji, Saubhadra; Kak Ramachandran, Smriti (8 May 2020). "Some states put freeze on labour laws to get business going". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
- Jigeesh, A. M. (25 May 2020). "ILO expresses deep concern at 'suspension' of labour laws". Business Line. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Gupta, Shekhar (9 May 2020). "Vande Bharat vs Bharat ke bande: Can Narendra Modi be losing his political touch so soon?". The Print. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- "Can't poor in the country avail of Vande Bharat Mission, says Akhilesh Yadav". Hindustan Times. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- "Centre ignoring domestic migrant workers: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut". Deccan Herald. 11 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- Dutta Roy, Divyanshu, ed. (23 May 2020). ""We Could Have Done Much, Much Better": NITI Aayog CEO On Migrants". NDTV. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- Nanda, Rupashree (1 May 2020). "Lockdown & Labour Pain: The Demand for MNREGA Work Has Never Been so Strong, Says Economist Jean Dreze". News18. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
- "मजदूरों की मदद का तमाशा करने वालों को मनोज मुंतशिर का करारा जवाब". India Today (in Hindi). Retrieved 25 July 2020.
- Akhtar, Javed. "Watch | Javed Akhtar Recites His Poem on the Plight of Migrant Labourers". The Wire. English translation by Jalil, Rakshanda. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
- NL Interview: Barkha Dutt on covering migrant crisis, the media economy, and falling out with promoters
- ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work (PDF) (Report). International Labour Organization. 7 April 2020.
- Psychosocial Issues Among Migrants During COVID-19 | Understanding the issues of the migrant population- COVID-19 (PDF) (Report). Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- Pal, Alasdair; Siddiqui, Danish (21 April 2020). The Long Road Home: a coronavirus journey in India (Report). Reuters.
Media files used on this page
Author/Creator: Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant), Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientifically accurate atomic model of the external structure of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a strain (genetic variant) of the coronavirus that caused Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China, during December 2019
Each separate locus (amorphous blob) is an atom of:
Author/Creator: Sumita Roy Dutta, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Stranded migrant workers during fourth phase of the lockdown because of COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi, taking rest on the way to their village near New Delhi railway station
Author/Creator: Goutam1962, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Migrant workers stand in a queue for food at Delhi Govt school during COVID-19 Lockdown at Delhi
Author/Creator: Sumita Roy Dutta, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Stranded people rushing to rail station to catch their train during fourth phase of the lockdown because of COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi