As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic subsides, migrant workers across different states have started returning to work leaving their native villages. The government has assured about providing employment to the workers who have returned to the cities for resuming employment.
After the onset of the second wave of coronavirus and the imposition of lockdown across the country, the migrant workers had returned to their native villages fearing a repeat of the chaos and apathy faced last year.
However, due to the gradual opening of businesses in big cities the migrant workers have again started coming back to the cities.
Train tickets are being sent by mill owners to several migrant workers living in Muzaffarpur and other districts of north Bihar. The workers living in Sakra block of Muzaffarpur district have left for Mumbai, Delhi and other places.
The migrant workers say that when they returned to the cities, they thought they would find some job but they are not getting the kind of jobs in which they are skilled. They say that in some areas employment is being provided under the MNREGA scheme but it is not possible for all people to get work under it.
Niranjan Kumar of Charpokhari village in Bhojpur district says, “At present, farming and agriculture is almost at a standstill. Work is expected to be available only at the time of planting. However, so many people have returned from their native villages that there is no possibility of getting fair wages in agriculture. Money is available working outside their native villages.”
In Gopalganj district, at present a large number of migrant workers are not returning to the cities but many who had returned were called by their owners. However, there are many workers across villages who fear a third wave of the coronavirus. Such labourers say that they will venture outside but hearing about the danger of a third wave they will have to return again to their native villages.
They say that they are looking for work in their native villages but if they fail to get any work then they will have to move to cities to feed themselves. The migrant workers of Gopalganj, Bhojpur, Kaimur are moving towards Punjab for farming.
It is a relief that the situation is not as bad as last year. After the second wave of Covid-19, many migrant workers who returned to their native villages are still in search of work.
Last year, migrant workers were called back for work by sending interstate buses from many big cities.