The problems faced by migrant workers are not new or unknown. To address them, the government’s policies need a rethink.
As a child, while playing in the housing society garden, I used to hear the stories that the maids and ‘servants’ from our housing colony used to share about their families back ‘home’ – the mango orchards, the lush rice fields, the spacious houses in the Konkan or other parts of Maharashtra. As one grew up, one began to meet other working people from other parts of the country and hear about their homes back in their villages. I would often wonder – why would people from the beautiful villages in the Konkan or from Kerala or the stunning hills in Himachal or North Bengal come and live in the slums of Bombay with its total lack of greenery or space or even a modicum of dignity.