92% laborers lost employment, 42% did not have no to fill stomach

The lockdown implemented for 21 days in the country to prevent the spread of corona virus has had the greatest impact on the livelihood of migrant laborers. This information has been revealed in a survey conducted on 3,196 construction workers. According to the survey, 92.5 percent of the workers have lost their work for one to three weeks due to the lockdown.

During the lockdown, the non-governmental organization ‘Jan Sahj’ has drawn some important findings from the telephonic survey among workers of north and central India. First, 42 percent of the workers reported that they did not have ration for the day. The survey showed that if the lockdown was more than 21 days, 66 percent of the workers would not be able to manage their household expenses for more than a week.

One-third of the workers reported that they are still stuck in cities due to lockdown, where they are facing acute shortage of water, food and money. About half the migrant laborers have already moved to their villages. There they are facing various challenges such as rationing and lack of income.

31 percent of the workers have debt and without employment it will be very difficult to repay it. Most of the loans were from lenders. This is three times that of workers taking loans from banks. The survey revealed that more than 79 percent of borrowers are not able to pay back in the near future. There is also a disturbing fact that the inability to pay the debts of the workers who are close to 50 per cent may put them at risk of some kind of violence.

2655 workers surveyed said that they have faced shortage of employment. 1527 stated that he was not in a position to return to the village. Ration in 2582 laborers’ homes is over. Of these 78 people are not able to pay school and college fees. 483 people are sick. However, 11 people in the survey admitted that they did not have any problem in the lockdown.

The survey revealed that 55 per cent of the workers earned an average of 200 to 400 rupees per day for financial support to a house of four persons, while another 39 per cent earned Rs 400 to 600 per day. This means that most of these laborers are also below the Minimum Wages Act. Explain that the minimum wage fixed for Delhi is Rs 692, Rs 629 and Rs 571 for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers respectively.