The daily wage laborers trapped in the lockdown do not have even a day’s worth of food, they do not expect that the situation will improve and they will get work soon after the lockdown ends. It has been found in a survey.
The Indian Express quoted this as part of a survey conducted by NGO ‘Jan Sahas’ on March 27-29.
Nothing to eat
This report said that a survey of 3,196 daily wage laborers was done, from which a very frightening picture has emerged. It was found that about 92.50 percent of daily wage laborers have no work for one to three weeks. ‘Jan Sahas’ has conducted a survey by talking to the daily wage laborers of North and Central India over telephone.
On the survey day, 42 percent of the workers caught in the lockdown said that they did not have even a single day’s food left, while the rest of the time was locked.
If the lockdown is increased?
Nearly 66 percent of the people in the survey said that ‘if the lockdown is extended beyond the 21-day schedule, they will not be able to afford the house for a week.’
One-third of the people in the survey said that ‘they are still stuck in the same cities where they went in search of work. About half of the people in the survey said that they have reached their village, but there they are facing other problems, for example, they do not have ration, they are completely cut off from the outside world.
According to the Indian Express, about 31 percent of the workers said that they had taken loans for household expenses, but if they did not get employment, it would be difficult for them to pay this loan. Most of these people have taken money from local moneylenders, only one quarter have taken loans from the bank.
About 79 percent of the workers said that they would not be able to repay the loan they had taken because they did not have employment. At the same time, about half of the people have feared that the moneylenders may beat them up for not paying the loan.
Central government directive
The Union Ministry of Labor and Employment had issued a directive on 24 March asking all the states and union territories to direct money into the account of all daily laborers.
Under the ‘Building and Other Construction Workers Cess Act’, workers continue to collect money with the welfare boards. The Central Government asked the State Governments and Administrators of Union Territories to withdraw this money from the money collected from this ‘cess’ and give it to the workers. State governments have said that they have deposited 32 thousand crores with this surcharge.
This survey of ‘Jan Sahs’ also found that these workers need immediate rations, in addition to the need for immediate employment.
About 83 percent of the workers said that they are not going to get work immediately after the lockdown ends. About 80 percent of the people said that even after 21 days of lockdown they would have nothing to eat, they would not be able to run their family.
Not fair wage
The survey revealed that about 55 percent of the people get 200-400 rupees daily in wages and they have an average of four people in their family. Apart from this, 39 percent of people get Rs 400-600 daily.
This means that most of the workers do not get fair wages, they are paid less. The wages of skilled laborers in Delhi are 692 rupees, semi-skilled laborers 629 rupees and unskilled laborers Rs 571.
How many daily wage workers are there?
The construction sector accounts for 9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, the highest among the country’s 5.50 crore daily wage laborers. About 90 lakh people leave the village and come to the city annually in search of work in this sector.
According to the 2011 census, about 37 percent of the country’s population is of internal migrants, that is, people who move from their state to another state in search of work. This number is around 45 crores.