Bhubaneswar: Corona virus pandemic has heavily impacted life and livelihoods of millions of migrant workers in the country. Despite slew of programmes rolled out by both Union and State Governments, migrants finding it difficult to get their livelihoods restored because of unavailability of suitable jobs and wages. It is high time, Government should make an Institutional arrangement to recognise their contributions for strengthening economy and enriching growth story, said speakers at the webinar ‘Circular economy,Migration, COVID-19 and beyond’.
The Webinar was organised coinciding celebration of International Migrants Day by city based organisations Focus Odisha Foundation Adhikar and National level migrant’s Forum Migration Watch India. The programme was conducted both in physical and virtual platform simultaneously.
While making his Inaugural address Cultural Anthropologist and Professor in University of California, Santa Cruz, California in USA Dr Arnapurna Panda highlighted the need for concrete plan of action and responding fundamental issues interwoven in rural areas like agrarian crisis, forest based livelihoods and exploring coastal resources etc. She expressed concern over laxity in implementation of government schemes.
Professor Gagan Bihari Sahoo of South Gujarat University, Surat underlined the need for setting up Institutional Structure to address the emerging crisis as it exploded through Corona Pandemic.
Senior Fellow at leading New Delhi based thinktank Observor Research Foundation Dr Niranjan Sahoo spoke at length to ensure robust legal framework and Skill Mapping of Migrant workers to respond the crisis as Circular economy is paving way for Circular Migration.
UNDP state office head Abha Mishra stressed the need for addressing concerns of both distress and regular Migrants as both firm the part of large informal labour force.
Prominent among others who addressed the virtual event were former Joint Labour Commissioner of Government of Karnatak Vasantha Kumar Hitanangi, Retired Chief Labour Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Rath, Executive Director of Chennai based Foundation for Sustainable Development and Labournet Dr K. Krishnan, Associate Director of Action Aid India Ms Sarika Sharma, Coordinator of New Delhi based National Coalition of Dalit Human Rights Ms Lee Macqueen, Kolkata based Social Activist Ashoka Nayak and score of others.
The meeting was Chaired by President of Adhikar MD N Amin and Key note presentation were made by Director of Migration Watch India Sudarshan Chhotoray.