Bhubaneswar, Oct 28 (LocalWire): With distress migration of labour looming large, authorities in Bolangir and Nuapada districts will soon open seasonal hostels for children of migrant workforces to prevent them from becoming part of the migrant workforces and also to ensure that their studies are not hampered.
Each year, people migrate to other states to work in brick kilns and construction sectors affecting the studies of their children, said senior government officials.
‘The administration of these two districts will open seasonal hostels within a week from now. Directions have been issued and the District Education Officers will supervise and monitor the hostels for its effective functioning,’ labour commissioner, Niranjan Sahu said.
The state had launched the seasonal hostel project in 2012-13 year to curb distress migration.
In 2018-19 year, 68 seasonal hostels were operational, housing 2,759 children of migrant workforce. This year, the number of such hostels is likely to drop.
‘The Right to Compulsory Education Act also makes it binding on part of the government that no child is deprived of school education,’ said Umi Daniel, an expert on migration trend in western Odisha.
The state government deputed three labour inspectors to keep tab on the exodus of workforces from the vulnerable gram panchayats to curb seasonal distress migration in the worst-affected districts of Bolangir and Nuapada.
30 gram panchayats in Bolangir and Nuapada districts in western parts of the state were found out to be most migration-prone as per the latest survey conducted by government agencies. The survey made a headcount of 38,000 people from 11,000 families migrating to other states.
The state government already implemented special action plan in these 30 gram panchayats to curb migration and facilitate livelihood opportunities for migrant workers within the state, Sahu said.
On the other hand, camps to register migrant workers under Odisha building and other construction workers welfare board are in full swing in Bolangir and Nuapada with focus on extending benefits to the eligible registered migrant workers.
Odisha livelihood fund and community investment fund are trying to publicise ‘Sramika sahayata’ help line and migrant help desk in other states.
Required financial assistance has also been extended to the district Collectors.
According to officials in the state labour directorate, 11 districts – Bolangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Subrnapur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Khordha – have been identified as migration-prone zones.
1309 gram panchayats in these districts have been brought under the special work plan initiated by the government to curb labour migration.
Two toll free telephone numbers have been installed in Labour Directorate to provide guidance and assistance to the migrant workmen in the matters of registration, distress mitigation and rescue.