Post Mortem

Migration and Unemployment post Covid pandemic

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/28/2021 1:26:14 PM IST

 The global pandemic COVID-19 has spared none and brought much chaos, disruptions, and tragedy across the globe. Powerful nations with the best of health-care infrastructure and with the most elite health/ medical research teams on the planet have faced inexplicable loss of lives. While the threat of the pandemic COVID-19 is global and it knows no boundaries of class, caste, gender, religions, regions and languages, the poor and migrants are made most vulnerable, facing the threat of the virulent virus as well as the perils of unemployment and consequent hunger, even survival. The grim reality of COVID-19 and its impact on the poor was poignantly captured in the statement, “hunger may kill us before corona virus” by a migrant in north India. 

Covid-19 and it’s impact on Naga’s are observable at many levels. These disruptions invite reflections, where Naga’s migrants apparently bear the most devastating impact of covid-19 and the measures of lockdown. The main reason behind migration is due to lack of unemployment in Nagaland and too much of corrupted politician who are literally selfish and works for their own personal benefits. Fifty-six years after statehood, Nagaland is facing the highest unemployment rate in India at 21.4 percent. Numerous determining factors contribute to the growth of unemployment in the state. Factors like the lack of transparency in job allocations, an imbalance between education and employment, shortage of quality education, etc., are considerable aspects leading to this crisis.

The surprise nationwide lockdown announced by the government at the end of March 2020, left many migrants stranded in urban areas. Migrants trekking on the highways walking back to their villages are vividly distressing images. Others are taking the solitary route of cycling the distance between their city of work and home. On an emotional level, these stories of migrants setting off towards their homes in villages, knowing that home do not mean economic security, reiterate powerfully the call of home when life is uncertain amidst the raging dangers of a death-dealing virus.

At this point of time, the state government seems to be struggling to find an appropriate mechanism to tackle the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. What is really the best option? And how do we ensure that, once the pandemic is over. However, policy suggest that effective and holistic approach of macroeconomic stability measures in the short run such as strengthening MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) programme in rural sector for longer period, supplying of free ration to poor rural-urban households through the public distribution system, large scale direct cash transfer using the Jan Dhan account, provide soft loans to households that lose wage days, Rescheduling bank loan repayment cycles for Self Help Groups (SHGs) and individual agricultural debtors, direct financial assistance to self-employed workers, small business house and young start up entrepreneur.

Lijula Sangtam

5th Semester, Department of Political Science, 

Modern College Kohima

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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