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Jharkhand CM seeks Centre's intervention in protecting migrant rights

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday sought the Centre's intervention in protecting the rights of the workforce, including those who are employed abroad.

Hemant Soren

Hemant Soren | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Press Trust of India Ranchi
Alleging gross violation of provisions concerning migrant workers by several public sector enterprises, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday sought the Centre's intervention in protecting the rights of the workforce, including those who are employed abroad.
Launching a 'Safe and Responsible Migration Initiative' (SRMI) to safeguard the interests of migrant workers, Soren said their welfare was the priority of the state.
"I am pained to see that many Central organisations violate the provisions concerning migrant workers...I appeal to the Government of India to work towards a solution," he said while launching the initiative here.
The chief minister urged all migrant workers to get themselves registered with the state so that it can reach out to them during any calamity.
He also directed officials to ensure that mortal remains of any Jharkhand worker dying in a mishap in any part of the country should be brought back to his native place at the state's expenditure.
Pointing out that many workers migrate to Gulf countries and the state government cannot directly deal with those nations, he urged the Centre to step in to ensure their welfare as in the post-pandemic period, workforce like drivers and nurses will be in great demand given their shortage everywhere.
"We can deal with inter-state migration but workers migrate to Gulf countries too. The state government cannot tie up with those nations. We need the intervention of the Government of India for it...till date no concrete policy or system has been made for the safe and accountable migration of workers," he said.
The Jharkhand government is making efforts to create a database of migrant workers, he said.
"We saw the plight of lakhs of workers during the pandemic and so made this special policy related to migration.
Under the E-shram portal, registration of migrant workers is done...many ambitious schemes are being run by the state government so that the workers here can be employed in the vicinity of their homes," he said.
The chief minister said that the state government has provided employment to the girls and women rescued from states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh in the textile industry.
Two thousand appointment letters were distributed in the textile industry, of which 80 per cent were women, he said adding that the government was making efforts for their skill development and providing them with a dignified life.
The state government is contemplating setting up a skill university, he said.
Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh said it is a matter of concern that even central PSUs were violating provisions of the Inter-state migrant Act 1979 and engaging contractors, who are not registered, for meeting their labour requirements.
Under the SRMI, a pilot project has been launched for Dumka, West Singhbhum and Gumla and a database of migrant workers who have gone for employment in places like Delhi, Kerala and Leh-Ladakh etc is being prepared.
The social, economic and legal rights of migrant workers will be ensured by coordinating with all these states and the project will be replicated in the entire state later.
As per the state government figures, during the coronavirus -induced lockdown about 8 lakh workers had returned to Jharkhand.
The SRMI, an 18-month policy initiative, is anchored by the Department of Labour, Employment, Training and Skill Development and supported by the Omidyar Network India and implemented by a consortium of the Policy and Development Advisory Group (PDAG), Partnering Hope Into Action Foundation (PHIA), the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID) and the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business (ISB).
PDAG co-founder Arindam Banerjee said, "There is a necessity for strong inter-state cooperation and coordination between destination and source states to enable social protection for migrant workers."

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Jharkhand government on several occasions had brought back its migrant workers by special flights, trains and buses.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Dec 16 2021 | 9:16 PM IST

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