In order to address the needs of the migrant workers stuck in the city due to the extension of nationwide lockdown, Rachakonda police in Telangana has collaborated with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS-Hyderabad) to conduct a socio-economic profiling and need assessment survey of workers.
On Wednesday, a team of six faculty members from TISS-Hyderabad, along with volunteers from the Rachakonda Security Council (RKSC), surveyed 132 households/groups with a total population of 496 people in Shanti Nagar within Jawahar Nagar police station limits. Natives of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal, etc in these clusters.
Calling migrant laborers the underbelly of the Indian economy, Professor U Vindhya, Deputy Director of TISS-Hyderabad, said the absence of any data on them is what led to the idea of taking up a rapid need assessment. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Professor Vindhya said, “There is a dearth of data on the plight of migrant laborers from all over India. We thought we could make a beginning by doing a quick survey of different migrant groups in Hyderabad.”
The broad framework of their survey is the socio-economic inequality and disadvantage in society. “But we are not going into all their needs but doing a rapid need assessment so that we can prepare a set of concrete recommendations for the government,” she added.
The survey has 35 questions, seeking information about their occupation, housing conditions, their most important current needs, and also what that they would like from the government, be it just food, money, or the certainty of their job post lockdown. There are also questions to find out the status of their indebtedness, if they send money home, etc. Finally, it also tries to find out what kind of relief has been distributed to them so far.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said as part of the continuous efforts to ensure that people in distress, especially migrant workers, the police department have made elaborate arrangements for the supply of food and other relief materials in its jurisdiction. While relief materials such as cooked food, groceries, and medical facilities are reaching the people, many other social parameters are emerging out of anxiety among these sections of people, he said in a statement.
On the survey, he said the enumeration of this data can further strengthen the current efforts of Rachakonda Police in plugging gaps and avoiding duplication of services.
On April 14, hours after the PM’s address on extending the lockdown, over 120 migrant workers were found walking from Hyderabad to Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, and were sent back to their shelters after state minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Uppal MLA Subhash Reddy and other officials intervened and stopped them near Uppal. Groups of migrants were also stopped and sent back from Pathangi, Radhika crossroads, RK Puram, and Charminar.
The Telangana Government has also announced Rs 500 and 12 kg rice to migrant workers.
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