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For millions of migrant workers, Covid-19 brought caste discrimination back

While the pandemic has destroyed livelihoods worldwide, leaving people without jobs, some of biggest hits are likely to be taken by families in countries like India that have few social safety nets

Woman carries monthly ration from a ration distribution center at Aston village, Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Bloomberg
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Woman carries monthly ration from a ration distribution center at Aston village, Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Bloomberg

Shruti Srivastava | Bloomberg
Millions of migrant workers made arduous journeys to their villages after India imposed the world’s largest lockdown in March. Back in the rural hinterland, many say caste discrimination is reversing even the small economic and social gains they eked out in the cities.

In the village of Aston, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, Raju Banskar, 33, says the double stigma of coming from a lower caste and having traveled from New Delhi where the coronavirus is spreading has made it impossible to find a job. In the city, construction work fueled by India’s decades long economic boom brought him

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First Published: Aug 21 2020 | 12:37 PM IST

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