The Rejects: COVID-19 Migrants, Victims of Discrimination
Keywords:Caste, COVID-19, Discrimination, Migration, Migrant labourer, Labourer, Lockdown
The villages of India remain entrenched in the ancient hierarchical shackles of caste. The most severe impact of divisions of caste is faced by the people belonging to the lower castes. Accompanying caste is the provision of marginalization which is often the result of their low position in society both in terms of societal status and economic status. People hailing from lower castes often remain confined to low paying professions creating a vicious cycle of poverty and marginalization. People belonging to these sections of population migrate to cities for more job opportunities as well as to escape the problems of caste based regulations and discriminations within villages. This migration pattern of movement from villages to cities received a sudden jolt with the onset of COVID 19 pandemic. The COVID 19 pandemic, which is responsible for one of the most stringent lockdowns of history had opened up the space for a new demographic change, the large scale migration of labourers, especially from cities to villages, their hometowns. Apart from the demographic effect, the lockdown, loss of jobs as a result and migration had had a deep impact on the personal lives of the migrant labourers. The journey of a migrant labour from city, place of work, to their own village after losing their job had proved to be perilous and long. But travelling long distances without facilities or supplies had not been their only cause of misery but many had to face caste based discriminations and marginalization in their home towns too at the hands of their fellow villagers. This paper would try to analyse the condition of a migrant labourer belonging to lower caste and understand the purviews of discrimination faced by them after returning to their villages within the lens of COVID 19 pandemic induced lockdown.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Devapriya Bhattacharya
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