Beyond the obvious reduction in incomes and consumption levels, there are several concerns about the healthcare outcomes of migrant workers after two successive waves.
Since the time the first nationwide Covid lockdown was announced in March 2020, migrant workers have seen much suffering. While most of the attention has been on urban India during the second Covid wave this year, the misery of migrant workers has only been compounded in these intervening months.
The year 2021 saw another round of reverse migration of labourers. Beyond the obvious reduction in incomes and consumption levels, there are several concerns about the healthcare outcomes of migrant workers after two successive waves. Thanks to the continuing paucity of government data, little is known on this front. It is of particular concern since the healthcare infrastructure in rural India is much weaker than in cities.
For instance, what has happened to the women and children in such migrant families?
Further, as India rolls out its vaccination plan, there are concerns about equity. Are migrants falling on the wrong side of the digital divide? How can India make its vaccination rollout more inclusive? As India emerges from the second wave, what are the lessons learnt from a policy perspective? What needs to be done — both at the Centre and state levels — to ensure migrants receive improved health provisioning?
The third installment of the eight-part webinar series Thinc Migration by The Indian Express, which will go live Thursday, will address these concerns. Presented by the Omidyar Network India, the discussion by a panel of experts will examine what needs to be done to bolster the provisioning of healthcare for migrant workers and their families. It aims to have a solutions-oriented discussion between some of the brightest minds and thought leaders across academia, industry, civil society and government.
Ajoy Mehta, Chairman, Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, will be the keynote speaker. Other panelists include Prof K Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Uma Mahadevan, Principal Secretary of Panchayat Raj, Government of Karnataka, Dr Pavitra Mohan, Director of Health Services in Aajeevika Bureau and co-founder of Basic Health Care Services, and Dr Vandana Prasad, Founder Secretary of the Public Health Resource Network (PHRN).
The session will be moderated by Udit Misra, deputy associate editor at The Indian Express.
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