COVID-19 causes unprecedented migrant crisis in India

Housing site in Mumbai. Photo by Amit Kumar.

May 06, 2021.  

The second wave of Covid-19 is sweeping across India at an immense speed. India recorded the highest number of single-day Covid-19 cases in the world (354,531), surpassing Brazil and the USA (as of 25 April 2021). The Indian government was caught unaware by this sudden surge in new Covid-19 cases, after early stringent lockdown measures had succeeded in delaying the first wave of infections.

The unprecedented migrant crisis is one of the major catastrophes that emerged during the pandemic. The sudden imposition of the lockdown in March 2020 had a severe impact on the employment and consequently the earnings and savings of migrant workers. With no proper employment opportunities in their home villages, their household income fell by 85 percent during June-August 2020. The government was caught unaware as it did not have accurate information on the number of migrants who needed support.

Read the full text of PARI Policy Brief No 27, based on research conducted by Gulati, A., Jose, S. & B.B. Singhsays, here:


Heike Baumüller

Dr. Heike Baumüller