34 lakh migrant workers in Kerala; no clue of whereabouts
Kochi: According to the statistics of state government, there are 34.85 lakh migrant labourers in Kerala. These figures were assessed after the flood havoc in 2018. Though they are large in number, details about them are not available.
Many of them had returned to their native places during the lockdown period. Later, some of them came back to Kerala. They do not have even Awas cards. Only 23 percent of the 6 lakh migrant labourers in Ernakulam hold Awas cards.
Those working in this sector said that the employers always want to hide the identity of the labourers, so that they can make them work for low wages. They do not offer any additional benefits for the migrant labourers. Only those who permanently appoint them collect their details. In some places, the contractors supply the labourers for works on sites and shops.
The highest number of migrant labourers is in Ernakulam. There are about 6 lakh migrants in the district. Wayanad is in the second spot with 4.6 lakh migrant workers. There are about 3.86 lakh migrant workers in Kannur, 3.2 lakh in Kozhikode, 2.5 lakh in Thrissur and 2 lakh in Palakkad.
The experts opined that the easiest way to make migrant labourers part of our system is to add them in the social security schemes. The Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development executive director Binoy Peter said that the schemes should be introduced not causing any difficulty to the migrant labourers.