On the first anniversary of nationwide lockdown, on 24th March, 2021, FLAME University, Pune released a report in association with the National Alliance of People's Movement (NAPM), the largest organization in India working on migrant issues, titled ‘SURVIVAL OF MIGRANTS IN A CRISIS’ which addresses the distress of migrants left behind during COVID-19 lockdown in Pune. The report was authored by Dr. Shivakumar Jolad, Dr. Shalaka Shah, and Dr. Chaitanya Ravi of FLAME University.
The ‘Survival of migrants in a crisis’ report highlights the social-economic distress characterized by the loss of livelihood, access to health care, hunger, and food security issues, and the associated psychological distress such as anxiety, stress, feeling of worthlessness expressed by the migrant workers during the lockdown. The report was unveiled at a webinar where attendees included the FLAME Community, NAPM members, as well as, the Chief Speaker - Dr. Neelam Gorhe, an Indian politician and deputy leader of Shiv Sena from Maharashtra, Deputy Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council and a member of Maharashtra Legislative Council.
Speaking about the report, Dr. Neelam Gorhe said, “We need to have a roundtable of all the various researches done in the state on migrant labour and the impact of the lockdown. We will then be able to use a synopsis of all the recommendations and reviewed by different ministries.”
A round table meeting arranged by Dr. Neelam Gorhe on 5th April 2021, present for this meeting were Labour Minister: Mr. Dilip Walse-Patil, Health Minister: Mr. Rajesh Tope, Transport Minister: Adv. Anil Parab, Chief Secretary of Labour Ministry: Ms. Vinita Ved-Singhal, Development Commissioner (Unorganized workers): Mr. Pankaj Kumar, Social worker Ms. Kiran Moghe, Ms. Suniti S. R., Dr. Shivakumar Jolad, Dr. Shalaka Shah along with other members from various social organizations. FLAME University's report was extremely well received in this meeting. Dr. Shivakumar Jolad reiterated the importance of food availability, food distribution to migrants; while Dr. Shalaka Shah spoke about the dire need to address psychological distress by providing psychological first-aid to migrants. The policy recommendations for food security, universalization of the Public Distribution System and creation of a dedicated helpline to address psychological distress for migrants were well noted by the Maharashtra State Ministry. These recommendations made it into the final SOP created for unorganized workers. After this roundtable meeting, Maharashtra announced lockdown-like restrictions on 13th April 2021. As an impact of this round table meeting, The Maharashtra government announced a financial package of Rs. 5,476 crore for the weaker section of the people and beneficiaries of the food security act will be provided three kg of wheat and 2 kg of rice.
- Prof. Shivakumar Jolad, Associate Professor - Public Policy
- Prof. Shalaka Shah, Assistant Professor - Psychology