Bhubaneswar, December 21 (LocalWire): The state government has initiated a socio-economic survey in seventy more gram panchayats in Nuapada and Bolangir district to keep a tab on distress migration.
A comprehensive survey of the socio-economic condition in the migration-affected areas is being conducted jointly by the Labour Welfare Department and Tata Trust.
The survey is scheduled to be completed by 31 January 2020, Labour Commissioner Niranjan Sahu stated.
According to sources, the government will initiate corrective measures to arrest distress migration from the identified areas on the basis of findings of the survey report.
Currently, over 30 gram panchayats in Bolangir and Nuapada districts have been identified to be the worst hit due to distress migration of workforces.
Sources indicate that over 38,000 people from 11,000 families in the area have migrated to other states in search of livelihood under distress conditions.
The state government has already implemented a special action plan in the affected pockets to facilitate the creation of livelihood opportunities for migrant workers within Odisha, the official said.
Apart from Nuapada and Bolangir, nine other districts including Bargarh, Kalahandi, Subrnapur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, and Khordha have been identified as migration prone zones and a total number of 1,309 GPs in these districts have been brought under the special work plan initiated by the government to curb labour migration.
The state government has also set up two toll-free telephone numbers in the Labour Directorate to provide guidance and assistance to migrant workers in matters of registration, distress mitigation, and rescue.
Over 206 seasonal hostels for children of migrating families have been set up in different migration prone GPs that can accommodate around 9,000 students enabling them to continue with their education.
“They otherwise would have turned migrant labourers along with their parents. The institution of seasonal hostel has prevented potential child labour,” officials stated.
“Due to lack of employment opportunity, people from backward belts in the state migrate to neighbouring states in search of bread and butter.
In the process, these defenceless people are ensnared in the bondage labour system and fall prey to exploitative practice of tyrannical employers” activist Umi Daniel said.
Every year, around one thousand cases of torture and exploitation of migrant Odia labourers are reported and though the government puts the distress migration numbers at 1.31 lakh, the actual figure could go up by ten-fold, Daniel stated.