Tag Archives: migrant workers

Lockdown 4.0 – A Tribute to Labourers by Navchintan Kala Manch

नवचिंतन कला मंच द्वारा – बीते दिनों में अपनी ही धरती पे बेगानेपन का अहसास कर हज़ारों किलोमीटर दूर अपने घरों की उम्मीद के निकले लोगों के साथ हुए हादसों की दास्तान ज़रूर देखें।

MIGRANT WORKERS’ RESISTANCE MAP: Migrant Workers Solidarity Network

The Migrant Workers Solidarity Network has documented migrant workers’ resistance across India in an interactive map. Below is a screen-shot of the map.

For the interactive map, visit the MWSN site.

From the MWSN site:

The COVID-19 crisis in India has made the migrant workers visible in public discourse. But the dominant narratives have made them visible as subjects of compassion, as perpetual victims seeking help of others and not as active makers of our society, not as rightful citizens, not as resisting political subjects who can challenge the oppressive conditions surrounding them.

The ‘Migrant Workers’ Resistance Map’ is an attempt to document acts of resistance by migrant workers since the beginning of the lockdown. Within our limited human and technical capacity, we have collated information and designed this map. While we launch the map, we acknowledge that it is far from giving a fully representative picture of the nature and spread of migrant workers protests both geographically and temporally and the possibility of bias in collecting information and understanding what qualifies as ‘resistance’. Let us collaborate.

Add new information of resistance to the map: Fill this form.

Also, for any comments, suggestions, technical or otherwise, send us an email at migrantresistance.mwsn@gmail.com or contact +91 9445419894

Playing the subaltern – Irrfan Khan as the migrant worker in Mumbai Meri Jaan: Umang Kumar

Guest post by UMANG KUMAR
 

Irrfan Khan reads the iconic poem, “Thakur ka Kuan”, by Dalit writer Om Prakash Valmiki, at the 2014 Jaipur Literary Festival.

While Irrfan Khan essayed a diverse range of roles, his hauntingly powerful cameo appearance in Mumbai Meri Jaan stands out for its intensity in the portrayal of working-class realities, especially those of migrant workers.

Mumbai Meri Jaan, a 2008 film, revolves around the tragedy of the 2006 Mumbai local-train blasts. Khan plays Thomas, a Tamil coffee-vendor who sells coffee from a roadside cart, and speaks minimum, Tamil-accented Hindi. His wife works as a domestic help.

Asif Kapadia, the British filmmaker, who worked with Irrfan on the movie The Warrior, recently shared what he had initially thought about Irrfan: “He looks like someone who’s killed a lot of people, but feels really bad about it.” While that probably had something to do with Khan’s brooding, prominent eyes, it does point to the deep volcano of emotions that Khan seemed to be harboring with perfect equanimity all the time.

Continue reading Playing the subaltern – Irrfan Khan as the migrant worker in Mumbai Meri Jaan: Umang Kumar

Migrant Workers, COVID- 19 and our Collective Indifference: Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha and Mursed Alam

Guest post by ANINDYA SEKHAR PURAKAYASTHA and MURSED ALAM

Critical opinions described India as the ‘Republic of Hunger’or as the ‘Republic of Caste’ and now the post-Corona plight of countless migrant workers makes us want to describe it as the Republic of Indifference. Lakhs of migrant workers along with their family members are stuck at different corners of the country, unfed, mistreated and uncared. Recent images of migrant workers flocking to Bandra station in Maharashtra, with hopes of resumption of train services taking them home and the subsequent police action to disperse them was watched and commented by all of us. Most reactions were emotive and anguish ridden but that have little impact on the ground situation in which these migrants are forced to live during this lockdown. It is true that some NGOs and various philanthropic organizations and governmental aids have to a certain extent catered to their needs but their misery demands more than mere empathy or selective mercy. They need concrete action on the ground. It is astounding to see the Government of India announcing the lockdown on 25 March without having any concrete action plan for these countless migrant workers. This completely betrays the government`s indifference to their sufferings. As if we take them and their sufferings for granted. Earlier some migrants were packed off in over-crowded buses with no money and in Delhi migrant workers were stranded in a bus station in large numbers, rendering them more vulnerable to the infection threat. By all means the COVID 19 crisis has once again proved that they are the Rejects of India. They are mere numbers, and we club them under one official category of “Migrants”, they are not human beings, a mere category of the Reject, who are left out to fend for themselves. We, armchair intellectuals and the moneyed class securely ensconced in our comfort zone, guaranteed of our salaries and jobs, passed off social media comments. The self-appointed radical fringe among us called for the closure of all other activities like educational studies as migrants are suffering but all these predictable reactions boiled down to nothing when it comes to forcing the government to come down to the street and adopt concrete steps to mitigate the traumas of these suffering faces who are away from homes and family.

Continue reading Migrant Workers, COVID- 19 and our Collective Indifference: Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha and Mursed Alam

As Migrants Begin their Long Trudge to Nowhere, A Note on Migration in Delhi: Jamal Kidwai

Guest Post by JAMAL KIDWAI

Most of the people in Delhi, like in rest of India (according to official estimates, 92 per cent of India’s work force comprises of informal labour) earn their living from working in the informal sector. There is extensive academic literature on this subject.  Typically, informal economy is that which does not find mention in official data, is not formally registered and regulated and falls outside the tax regulation.

The concept of informality became current in economic and social thought in the early 1970’s. It has since been re-considered and re-interpreted. The idea that the informal sector presented a liminal space for workers waiting to be absorbed by the formal sector, has been negated. Instead, current trends suggest that a majority of the Indian work force (approx.92%) labour under short-term informal contracts.  Well-known labour historian Jan Bremen has somewhere written that the fact the informal economy is not officially regulated does not imply a complete absence of regulation. There are many unofficial means of regulation. Quite often activities that do not possess registration and legal sanction get denoted as informal or ‘underground’. This practice results in the official erasure of the economic value of the goods and services produced therein. It also serves the purpose of masking the over-exploitation and socially-levered extortion to which the most unprotected and vulnerable members of the working class are subjected.

Continue reading As Migrants Begin their Long Trudge to Nowhere, A Note on Migration in Delhi: Jamal Kidwai

Appeal for Contributions – A Citizens’ Initiative to Provide Humanitarian Relief to the City’s Working Classes

In the wake of the health and subsistence crisis triggered by the rapid spread of Covid-19 in India, the Citizen Collective for Humanitarian Relief, in association with the Centre for Education & Communication, is organizing emergency distribution of food among the working-class families of Delhi NCR. As part of this initiative we have set up a Mazdoor Dhaba (workers’ kitchen) in Delhi University.

Our aim is to provide two cooked meals a day to those families who have lost all source of livelihood following the complete nation-wide lockdown ordered on 25th March. The cost for one family’s meal (5 persons) is about Rs. 250, and as of today we are able to reach 500 people every day. We need your help and financial support to sustain and expand this effort.

On behalf of the Citizen Collective for Humanitarian Relief

Apoorvanand, Aruna Roy, Avinash Kumar, Lokesh, Najma Rehmani, Naveen Chander,  Rahul Roy, Richa Jairaj, Satish Deshpande, Usman Jawed

If you wish to assist us, please transfer money to the following accounts. If you are an Indian citizen (even if you live abroad), then please make sure to transfer money only to the Corporation bank account. If you are a foreign national, please transfer money to the SBI account.

Bank details for INDIAN CITIZENS:

Centre for Education & Communication

Corporation Bank

SB Account No: 520101261257941

IFSC Code: CORP0000286

Branch: Greater Kailash, New Delhi

 

Bank details for FOREIGN NATIONALS:

Centre for Education & Communication  

State Bank of India

Current Account No: 10786724071

Swift Code: SBININBB710

Branch: Green Park Extension, New Delhi

If you are sending money to these accounts, please inform us of the same by sending an email to the following ID along with your name and address. If you want to send more than Rs 5,000/-, please send us your PAN number. We request the foreign nationals to send a copy of their passport.

Donor Information required for Foreign Citizens

Name:

Address:

Amount donated in foreign currency:

*Please attach copy of valid passport.

Please inform us when you make contribution to following email ids:

accounts@cec-india.org/ finance@cec-india.org

workersdhaba@gmail.com

For queries regarding the relief work, and how you can support it, please contact

workersdhaba@gmail.com

Avinash – +918010833325

Naveen – +919013074978

Praveen-  +919911078111

Richa-     + 919820027364

Usman –  +919953947739

 

For queries the money transfer, please contact the Center for Education and Communication (CEC) by email or on phone

accounts@cec-india.org/ finance@cec-india.org

Ruchika – +919899230545