The COVID-19 pandemic and migrant workers from rural Bihar

Gaurav Datt, Swati Dutta, Sunil Kumar Mishra

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More than half of rural households had at least one migrant worker prior to the pandemic, and for 94% of these households, their migrant workers’ livelihood was adversely affected. There was large-scale reverse migration with a huge fraction of returning migrants spending as much as four to five months in native villages with limited opportunities for alternative work (including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act employment). The disruption of employment among migrant workers who stayed in destination areas led to drastic cuts in their remittances back home. About one-fifth of the migrant workers who had gone back to the destination areas were yet to resume work at destination sites at the time of survey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalEconomic and Political Weekly
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2023

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