In November 2020, Bar & Bench carried out a story on MP Migrant Worker Project (the Project) which basically studied the fate of migrants returning to Madhya Pradesh amid the pandemic.
Two law graduates, Rakshita Agarwal (NLU-O ’20) and Rohit Sharma (NUJS ’20) teamed up with their friend Lakshay, an engineering student, and decided to survey a stream of over 3,000 migrants who were returning to Madhya Pradesh. To be precise they assessed the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the livelihood and employment of Indian migrant workers, particularly those belonging to the state of M.P.
Another objective of this project was to ascertain the extent of state intervention and aid provided to the returning workers from the start of their journey from host states to settling in their respective villages, as well as understand the extant frame-work of labour laws applicable to the informal sector and migrant workers in India.
More details about the questions posed to the returnees and the executive summary of the project was published by Bar & Bench in November 2020 and can be accessed at MP Migrant Worker Project: Tracking the fate of migrants returning to Madhya Pradesh amid COVID-19 (barandbench.com)
Since then, Rakshita Agarwal (NLUO), Rohit Sharma (NUJS), Lakshmi Menon (SLS Hyderabad), Niharika Tiwari (Ashoka University), Shilpa Shankar (NALSAR) and Saiyed Kamil (NUJS) have drafted the final report (Final Report) attached to this article.
The Final Report assumes importance, as it makes us aware of the ground realities and therefore hold the potential to guide policy decisions and future legislation in relation to migrant workers.
On being asked what are the next steps from here, Rohit Sharma, says, “Our team is planning to kickstart a pilot project to help informal workers register on the e-shram portal. This work is planned to be executed in collaboration with civil societies and we are yet to execute the process flow for the pilot.”
We at Bar and Bench, wish the team of budding lawyers the very best in their next endeavour.