COVID-19 Lockdown: Over 1.14 crore migrant workers returned to home-states in India; 11,750 in Nagaland

Returnees boarding a bus after returning to Nagaland during the nationwide lockdown amidst COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. (Morung File Photo)
Returnees boarding a bus after returning to Nagaland during the nationwide lockdown amidst COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. (Morung File Photo)

Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 14

More than 1.14 crore inter-state migrant workers returned to their home-states in India during the nationwide lockdown amidst COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Out of the total, 11,750 were from Nagaland, informed the break-up of ‘’Statistics for Migrant Labourers,’ annexed to a reply to an ‘Unstarred Question’ given by Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar in Rajya Sabha on February 10. 

“Most of the migrant workers have now returned to their work place and engaged in gainful employment,” the Minister added. 

India announced the first 21 days nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020. Thereafter, migrants (or returnees) returning to their home-states either on foot, or other means of transport, was among the most defining moments of 2020. 

As per the Minister’s reply, Indian Railway operated more than 4,611 Shramik Special Trains for ‘convenience of the migrant labourers’ and over 63.07 lakh of them were shifted to various destinations located in various states.

In Nagaland, the first Shramik special train carrying over 1,469 people arrived at Dimapur Railway Station on May 22. They started their journey from Chennai on May 19.

According to the ‘Report on the Inter-State Movement of Stranded Persons’ released by the State Government on December 4, 2020, during the May-July 2020 period, 34 special buses, 12 Shramik special trains covering 1,02,555 kms in 28 days, managed to bring back 13,594 returnees to Nagaland.

The Ministry’s February 10 data gives on overview of how many were workers among them. 

Returnees highest in UP, Assam tops among NE States
As per the break-up of the data on returnees, Assam topped the tally among the North East states with 4, 26,441. 

With 34,247, Tripura had the second highest returnees, followed by Sikkim at 33,015. (See table). 

Overall, out of 1,14,30,968 returnees in India, the highest was highest in Uttar Pradesh at 32,49,638, followed by Bihar at 15,00,612 and West Bengal at 13,84,693. Gujarat had ‘0’ returnee. 

The data were as received from the States or Union Territories till date, the Minister added.