Steered with the exodus of multi-million migrant labourers amidst the lockdown, Niti Aayog has created Draft National Policy on Migrant workers
When the India-wide lockdown was announced, India witnessed an unprecedented exodus of over 10 million migrants back to their native places. Eminent Hotelier and chairman of Claridges Group of Hotels, Suresh Nanda called the moment “heart-wrenching” and that made almost every Indian cry. Despite the efforts of the government and the members of the civil society, several migrants had to travel hundreds of kilometers barefoot due to the insecurities arising with the announcement of lockdown.
Noting the need for a national policy on migrant laborers, Niti Aayog along with the Working Group of officers and experts has prepared a draft national policy to not only protect but to empower our “most valuable resource,” as Suresh Nanda had called them. “For the first time, migrant labourers have been recognised as an asset which is inherent to the development,” he says. The draft has called the migration of workers the process that fosters the development process. The change in the approach is much appreciated by experts and the business community.
While speaking on hospitality, Suresh Nanda said that migrant workers are the backbone of the hospitality sector. “From construction of hotels and restaurants to providing service, they form the backbone of the sector. The draft with its dual approach to not only protect them from exploitation but to remove all the hindrances to enable their natural progress and growth. If this approach is carried out, they are going to flourish both economically and socially.”
“This is going to benefit every Industry, but real estate and hospitality will get the maximum benefit,” he adds.
The national policy on migrant workers is a much-talked-about issue for several past years. Following what happened during the early days of the spread of coronavirus and the announcement of lockdown in India, the government took no time to formulate a final solution to the insecurities of the migrant labourers. “There was a vacuum on the policy side of migrant labourers. With the coming up of the final national policy, which is expected very soon, it is going to be a relief for millions of migrants who leave agriculture to move towards services and manufacturing for a better and secured future.”
Suresh Nanda is an ex-India Navy person and is one of the leading businessmen in India across various sectors such as hospitality, defence, and engineering.