The Ficci Report on ‘Rehabilitation of Migrant Workers in India’ has proposed various recommendations to help migrant workers cope up with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns had triggered an exodus of migrant workers from various cities as industrial activities were disrupted and rendered many of them jobless.
While proposing a scheme to provide smart mobile phones to migrant workers, Ficci said that such devices could have pre-loaded training modules and other relevant apps in local languages. “It can further help them in navigating adequate work/employment opportunities,” it added.
The government should utilise funds collected under Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act 1996, meant to be used for provisioning of social security and related services for construction workers, Ficci said adding that other such sources may also be identified.
Further, it has proposed mandatory registration for all workers and creation of Migration Support Centres at every district and state level that can act as a ‘Help Desk’ to handhold and facilitate services like guidance on banking, gas connections and medical support.
According to Ficci, the support centres can also provide local information regarding transportation, accommodation, and any other welfare related information as well as act as an employment consultant.
As per the report, skilling and training partners should work in close co-ordination with designated counseling centres to help migrant workers in making more informed choices about locations, employers, and markets.
Effective communication strategy is important for providing crisis related information. Helplines, hotlines, and call centers as an accessible and low-tech means through which one-way or two-way communication with migrant workers can be facilitated, it noted.
Moreover, under Public-Private Partnership, a dedicated fund for skilling of migrant workers has been proposed by the industry body.
The fund can be used to re-skill and up-skill them on emerging job roles in respective sectors. This would also help them in navigating better employment and earning opportunities, it said.
Ficci also said the government and industry should consider adequate and decent housing accommodation and a suitable living environment for migrant workers and their families.
The industry body has also pitched for a review of Provisions of Inter State Migrant Workmen Act 1979 and said registration of migrant workers should be taken up on an urgent and priority basis to create a robust and dynamic database for labour mobility in India.
Besides, setting up investments in small towns would help workers to be placed closure to their native place, it noted.
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