February 12, 2021 4:30:36 am
After the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was announced on May 24 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and economic activity in urban areas came to a near standstill, India’s 400 million domestic migrant workers had no choice but to make their way home. With little to sustain themselves in the cities where they worked, and with most means of transportation either unavailable or limited, masses of people began their long journeys on foot. Now, with the rollout of vaccines and drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, there is an opportunity for India to re-evaluate its approach to internal migration as the focus shifts towards finding policy solutions that recognise the needs of domestic migrants and identify systemic constraints.
The Indian Express begins a series of eight webinars, Thinc Migration, presented by the Omidyar Network India, which will focus on solution-oriented discussions on the issue of internal migration in India. The inaugural session on Friday will open with a keynote address by Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, and will be followed by a discussion by a panel of experts.
The experts include Alex Paul Menon, Labour Commissioner and Secretary of Food and Civil Supplies in the Chhattisgarh government, S Irudaya Rajan, professor at the Centre for Development Studies in Kerala, Ravi S Srivastava, former professor at JNU and currently the director of the Centre for Employment Studies at the Institute for Human Development, and Rahul Katyal, managing director of Capacit’e Infraprojects Ltd. The session will be moderated by Udit Misra, deputy associate editor at The Indian Express.
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