03 Dec 2020
By Nitya Rao, Ayesha Pattnaik, Arundhita Bhanjdeo and Nivedita Narain
India’s national lockdown announced on March 24th, 2020 came into force 12 hours later. Within a few days, the big story emerging from across Indian cities was of inter-state migrant workers, stranded in cities without work, money or food. With no public transport, many started walking hundreds of kilometres to their homes. Those who stayed, exhausted their savings and were further sucked into debt. The lockdown drew attention to the invisibility of migrant workers in the policy space, and the systematic neglect of their basic rights: at origin, in transit and at destination.