Sattva Consulting
Understanding the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Migrant Construction Workers in India
December 4, 2020

Understanding the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Migrant Construction Workers in India

Between June 2020 and August 2020, Neev – a multi-stakeholder consortium of partners working to improve worker welfare in the construction sector in India – conducted remote surveys with over 10,000 migrant construction workers to understand the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on their lives, jobs and personal well-being. This briefing document presents the results of the survey, particularly highlighting the findings that would be most relevant for businesses in the construction industry, as well as government bodies, donors, practitioners and researchers working with migrant and / or construction workers.

By developing a better understanding of the changes in the vulnerabilities of migrant construction workers due to Covid-19, learnings from this research can help identify gaps in current pandemic-specific policies and service delivery, as well as inform the implementation of construction worker focused programming for public and private sector stakeholders.

Select Findings:

Returning to the construction sector, old employers and destinations for work: 70% of workers who were not employed at the time of the survey expressed that they wanted to return to the construction sector once restrictions were lifted. Only 55% of those intended to return to the same employer though. Further, about 33% workers were undecided about migrating to destination this year, and 10% mentioned they planned not to migrate this year at all.

Priority needs of workers and their families: 61% workers listed food needs as their main priority in the short-term. Educational needs and agriculture related needs were the two other top priorities.

Taking on debt post the pandemic: 6 out of 10 participants reported that they planned to either assume debt or take on additional debt in the immediate future to meet their financial needs, whereas only 3 out of 10 had mentioned they had taken debt before the pandemic.

To read more, you can access the briefing document here.


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