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A Study on Post Covid19 Impact on Migrant families with Special reference to Slums of Bengaluru metropolitan city

Anitha S., Lecturer, Department of Social Work, Bangalore University, Bengaluru 560056, Karnataka. Email: anitha.anithas@gmail.com

Veda C.V., Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Bangalore University, Bengaluru 560056, Karnataka. Email: vedacv.msw@gmail.com


Abstract: Bangalore is a hub of special economic zones of technology, educational institutions, commercial establishments and as a result of this many migrants migrating to city for the sake of job, as they were unskilled they will easily get into the unorganized sector especially domestic work and construction work. Researcher has randomly taken 4 slums of Bangalore. During the month of March 2022, migrant families of Hennur AK Colony, HRBR Layout, Byrathi Bunde and from Nagenahalli struggling for their livelihood as no work, some of them though had work but they were not allowed do due to social distancing. They were daily wage workers. In addition to this, along with BIRDS staff researchers visited the migrant families for the study as well as support their livelihood. The study has tried to understand the socio-economic and health issues concerned with migrant families due to Post-Covid19 impact on slums. It is found that migrant workers faced lot of problems from many angles. During the post pandemic period, there was a dire need of professional social workers to understand the issues concerned with migrant families in slums as they were more prone to the difficulty of survival.


Keywords: Livelihood, Migrant Families, Post Covid19, Slums, Socio-economic Status.


INTRODUCTION

Migrant families of slums were struggling for their daily livelihood as no job no wages. Their family members consist of elders, infants, kids, youths and women starving and not able to cope up with the current situation. According to official employment estimation, Indian industries had more than 100 million migrant workers.

 Due to lockdown, migrant workers living in shelters, sleeping on footpaths, near sewerage or under flyovers, and tired of restrictions to be getting eased. But after the opening of lockdown, they were lacking work, savings running out; they decided to return to their village. But due to lack of transportation services, many migrants started departing back to their villages by walk or cycle with their luggages. But it was a great risk for infants, children, pregnant women and mainly elderly people, few walked bare foot, ended with big bubbles on their feet. They were down with psychological anxiety, frustration, nervousness, having suicidal tendencies, along with physical pain of walking in hot sun, on roadside cooking; facing lots of struggles during each day routines especially adolescent girls during their menstrual cycle period, elders were lacking medicine for their general age based illnesses. 

Review of Literature:  Researcher has reviewed certain articles, studies related to the migrant workers situation during pandemic and review for the present study. Few such studies were illustrated here for clear understanding of Migrant Workers issues.

Mucormycosis is a disease that is rare but poses an important burden on immune compromised patients. Newly developed medications have several pathogenesis but cure to mucormycosis is still a challenge (P K K, 2021). Investigators coined about to avoid starvation of migrant workers through Public Distribution System, government has provided food grains to all even who was holding just Aadhar card instead of Ration card (R.B.Bhagat, 2020). 



(Randhwa, 2020) Investigator emphasis on during sudden lockdown due to Pandemic outburst  in India, how migrant workers face issues during on the way to their home, how they spend time with government provided shelters, given food, drinking water facility and sanitation facilities provided on the roadsides was analyzed . 

(Siddharth Agarwal, 2016) Study emphases on Migrant adolescent girls are married or unmarried in the context of slums in India are not decision makers in their migration experience. Health, adolescent sex education, menstrual hygiene, prenatal and postnatal issues need to be addressed immediately by the primary health centers.

(Organisation, 2020) ILO policy brief on migrant workers protection during pandemic Covid19 recommends displaced migrant workers in country and outside country including refugees face many issues with regard to workplace, gender, race, region wise regarding health and pandemic impacts. 

(Praveen S.V., April 2021) A collective effort of the public, authorities, mental health workers and policy makers to analyze such information and work for a proactive environment can add a positive mental health among general public.  


METHODOLOGY

Researcher used descriptive research study design for the current study. This paper is confined to understand the socio-economic and health issues of migrant families in slums and to find the various ways to overcome from the issues and improve the livelihood of the migrant families.


Universe and sampling design of the Study: Migrant families from 4 slums adopted by the BIRDS NGO in Bangalore metropolitan city as selected for the study. The study was undertaken from the slums under BIRDS Organization, randomly selected 4 slums such as Hennur Bande AK Colony, Nagaiahna Palya, Sanjay Nagar and from Gajendra Nagar from each slum 50 Migrant Families were selected, so overall 200 Migrant families were taken as sample and applied census method for collection of data.


Note: Total Migrant Families of the selected slum as taken by the survey conducted by BIRDS Animator staff during 2018, it might vary as they were migrant workers consisting of domestic workers and construction workers. Investigator visited only 200 migrant families along with the BIRDS Animator (Field Staff) after the lockdown opens in the month of March, April end and in the month of May 2021 for data collection and for the sake of Focused Group Discussion.


Sources of Data: The process of data was collected based on primary data and secondary data. Initially primary data collected from Migrant families who do domestic and construction work through structured interview schedule, focused group discussions and observation method. 


Tools of Data Collection: Researcher used structured interview schedule and observation method, FGDs (Focused Group Discussion) used to collect the data. In addition to this, researcher interacted with BIRDS field staff to know more about migrant families problem in the slums as they visit and interact with them on regular basis.


Operational Definitions 

Migrant Family: Migrant family is a family migrated from rural area to urban area for the sake of job security and education of their children totally for the sake of better livelihood.

Covid19: Covid19 is the infectious disease caused by the new strain of corona virus which initially spread in December 2019 at Wuhan city of China and spread as pandemic across the universe.


Slum: Encyclopedia of Britannica defines “Slum is a congested urban or suburban residential district characterized by deteriorating and insanitary housing, poverty and social disorganization.”


FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION

Socio-demographic profile of the respondents: Among all the 4 slums, scheduled caste consists of 57.5 percent migrant families which is more than half of the universe, 22.5 percent respondents belongs to scheduled tribe and very less universe 20 percent consists other caste respondents. Through the analysis we can make out that lower caste people stays in slums as they were from lower social strata.  


Age of respondents: With regard to age wise distribution of migrant families 18-25 years of age is 42.5 percent and 25-40 years will be 32.5percent more compare to the age group of 40-65 years of age. 


Livelihood of Migrant Families

Data in the table 03 depicts that most of the migrant workers were depend on either domestic work 26 percent or construction work 55 percent, and remaining 19 percent will constitute other type of work.


Their salary is not regular, sometimes they use to work for students who were staying in apartments they will go back to native after their study completed or job got transferred. But most of them depend on domestic or construction work which was inconsistent income. As the outburst of Covid19, they were unemployed very few employers paying for the basic amenities, it is very difficult for them to lead their daily life. 


Above data shows various problems faced by Migrant Families, along with their household management, unemployment, lacking livelihood, unable to support their families.


Health problems of migrant families

Health status of migrant workers is much worsens as many of them were suffering from either physiological or psychological illness. Most of them having skin allergies as they work more with soap and water and many of them were suffering from uterus cysts due to lack of menstrual hygiene. 


FGD with Migrant Women 

After Covid19 Lockdown has opened in Bangalore, NGOs initiated Covid19 relief works initiated, youth groups, adolescent girls group, self help groups and elders meetings also gradually started at slums under BIRDS. Investigator assisted the NGO through referring individual and corporate donors to support the migrant families. During the visit, investigator accompanied the animator in the selected 4 slums to conduct focused group discussions and discussed about their life situations during pandemic. Few of them were not able to pay their rent, electricity bill, scarcity of safe drinking water, unemployment, health insecurity and varied number of problems due to Covid19. Their life will be very convoluted and hard to lead their life because of pandemic Covid19. 


Role of Social Workers during Covid19 Pandemic Period

Creating awareness on Covid19 and preventive measures to be taken to overcome from the Covid19 infection. Networking with government and NGOs to provide Covid Relief will support their livelihood. Creating alternative jobs which can be done from home such as stitching masks, sanitizer making etc. Provide telecounselling to overcome from the fear of pandemic and suicidal tendencies.  Medical Social Workers, Community Social Workers and Women activists will play various roles based on the patient flow in the hospital settings and in the community.


CONCLUSION

Migrant workers during lockdown period, as all the family members were at home, working women only needs to manage household expenses with the fewer amounts saved or through debit. So, the migrant workers life was in pathetic condition struggling for daily bread and butter. Media portrayal of post covid period was totally different than it depicted. Slums of Bangalore were in need as how Dharavi Slum of Mumbai adopted for Mass testing and treatment for positives to increase the Herd immunity. As we all knew Bangalore is a hub of slums on each corners of the city, mass testing is required and relief work for the starved migrant is the primary need for the Government and for volunteers too.


References

Organisation, I. L. (2020). ILO Policy brief on Protecting Migrant Workers during Covid19 Pandemic Recommendations for Policy Makers and Constituents. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organisation.

P, K. K. (2021). Mucormycosis : A Black Fungus-Post Covid Complications. Journal of Regenerative Biology and Medicine, June 28, 2021 .

Praveen S.V., R. L. (2021). What Concerns Indian General Public on second wave of Covid19? A Report on Social Media Opinions. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome : Clinical Research & Reviews, April 2021.

R.B.Bhagat, R. R. (2020). The Covid19, Migration and Livelihood in India. International Institute for Population Studies , April 14, 2020. 16-17.

Randhwa, M. S. (2020). The Long Walk Home: COVID19 Lockdown and Migrant Labour in India. Institute of South Asian Studies, April 09, 2020. 3-4.

Siddharth Agarwal, E. J. (2016). Urban Migration and Soical Exclusion: Study from Indore Slums and Informal Settlements. Researchgate, 18-19.

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