Time to Draw Long Term Action Plan through Technology Solution and Agricultural Innovation for Livelihoods of Migrant Workers

Bhubaneswar: As remigration has started in large scale and people mostly returned migrants are going back to their workplaces elsewhere in the country, we need to explore Technology Solutions and Agricultural Innovation to provide livelihoods to returned migrants, said a outcome of Virtual Dialogue conducted on September 9, organized jointly by Focus Odisha Foundation, Action Aid India, Mahashakti Foundation and Migration Watch India, a national level Migration Resource Center.

“Though Government has scaled up MGNREGS by issuing job cards on demand to migrant labourers and providing job through convergence with different departments and specially run schemes, it is still insufficient to cater the growing demand and respond the requirements of skilled and semi -skilled workforce”, said Focus Odisha Foundation, Director Sudarshan Chhotoray, while presenting keynote.
Secondly, the wages in MGNREGS is very low Rs 207 fixed by Government of India for Odisha, even though State government has increased it to Rs 300 in priority Blocks, Chhotoray added.
Despite threat of COVID 19 and where uncertainty still looms large, people are fleeing to their earlier workplaces because, we could not provided job them, said Country Associated Director of Action Aid Debabrat Patra. Quoting a nationwide study done by Patra said in an average Odisha MGNREGS workers have got 38 days work during the Pandemic despite heightened demand.not exceeded even 50 days, whereas 93 percent of workers, they are in dire need if 100 days work.Besides MGNREGS we need alternative livelihood options like Agricultural innovation, Patra stressed.

In his lead presentation Director of Kashipur based AGRAGAMEE Achyut Das stressed the need for promoting Family based farms and developing village commons in resource rich States like Odisha, so that through traditional knowledge and wisdom and agricultural innovation people will get job locally, which will be sustainable. Das emphasised launching youth oriented schemes.

Veteran Development Expert, New Delhi based Consultant N M Prusty underlined the need for Technological solutions through building local Skills, enabling system of providing credit, insurance and Institutional framework to rehabilitate migrants and job creations.
Prusty further highlighted on developing technology solution network to promote Odisha’s very owned skills on handicrafts, handlooms, Can and Bamboos.

CEO and Director of MART Ramesh Jena pointed out quoting a study undertaken by MART said that as as nearly 25 percent returned migrants are here to say we need to promote individual and Group entrepreneurs through targeted intervention, as the data relating to both gainful and distress migration will varies we have to accommodate them with Government run schemes through convergence.

Vice President of New Delhi based Technosave Suryamani Roul spoke on long term solutions in engaging migrant workforce in Service sector as Odisha slowly moving to this because of agricultural stress and Industrial stagnation.

Renowned Development Communication expert Prakash Nayak Moderated the Webinar while Sudarshan Chhotoray, Santosh Mishra and Jugal K Patnaik coordinated the event.

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