Kochi

Migrant labour pattern mapped

Major projects, even in the remotest parts of Kozhikode, have migrant workers.

Major projects, even in the remotest parts of Kozhikode, have migrant workers.   | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP;S_RAMESHKURUP -

Initiative in three districts by Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development

Unlike other districts, Thiruvananthapuram doesn’t boast the presence of a large number of migrant workers in the marine fishing sector. They aren’t engaged in the traditional handloom and coir industries either, says the monograph on migrant labour situation in the district brought out by the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID).

This is the third such district-level profile released by the CMID after Kasaragod and Kozhikode. The most ubiquitous presence of migrant labourers is in the construction sector and in Thiruvananthapuram, the workers are mostly from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Apparel units

The hospitality industry, however, has workers from Tamil Nadu, the north-eastern States, Darjeeling, and Nepal. While migrant workers are not engaged in the handloom industry, the apparel units in the Apparel Park under the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation at Menamkulam employ migrant workers – most of them from Odisha and Jharkhand. Both men and women work in these units and their empanelment happens through an entity facilitated by the National Skill Development Corporation.

They are also visible in the district food processing units and in mining and quarrying. Kazhakuttam, Menamkulam, Vizhinjam, Pothencode, and Neyyattinkara have been identified as the major migrant clusters.

As for Kozhikode, construction, fishing and footwear industries depend heavily on migrant labour. Like Thiruvananthapuram, hotels and restaurants widely employ workers from the northeast and Nepal. Traditional fishers from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha were found operating, some of them even co-owning, boats across the fishing harbours in the district.

In addition, unskilled workers from Assam, particularly from Dhemaji and Sivasagar, are engaged for loading/unloading fish and ice.

The study says that over the years, a major labour corridor has evolved between Kozhikode and Bardhaman (Burdwan), South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal. Major projects even in the remotest parts of the district have migrant workers. For instance, Santali tribal men from Jharkhand work in Anakkampoyil at the Kandappanchal hydroelectric project.

Meenchanda bypass, Cherambalam, Pottammal, Kovoor and Vellimadukunnu are some of the labour junctions of migrant labourers in the district.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 4:42:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/migrant-labour-pattern-mapped/article19900346.ece

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