Loisingha/Bhawaniptana: Western Odisha districts, which are known for migration of labourers, are now witnessing return of migrant workers, who had come back home after losing their jobs during the pandemic.
Lack of job opportunities in Bolangir and Kalahandi districts are forcing youths to return to their workplaces in other states, a report said.
A report from Loisingha said a large number of people of Agalpur block have returned to their workplaces three days ago.
The migrant workers from Rinbachan, Uparbahal, Bharsuja Agalpur and Prakruiti panchayats boarded a bus to a neighbouring state.
They alleged that the government had promised them work under the MGNREGS, but most of them were unable to do manual labour while scores of them failed to get work.
“When we have no work here, we are bound to go back to our workplaces,” they lamented.
Some middlemen and labour contractors are on the prowl and are cashing in on the situation. Jobless labourers are lured to other states when the pandemic situation is worsening across the state.
Similar is the situation in Kalahandi where thousands of migrant workers have failed to get jobs after returning home.
A report from Bhawanipatana said that with COVID-19 caseload growing in the district, work is not available sufficiently.
“How can we run our families when we are sitting idle? We have no work here,” lamented some migrant works.
The report claimed that migration of returnees has started in 13 blocks of Kalahandi district.
Thirty to 40 buses have so carried returnees from Parla, Behera, Gadiajora, Dhoknaguda, Bheraguda, Bhaluchuan, Amaguda, Boden, Jaipatna, Kewadi (Dharmagarh block), Lolsara, Gambhariguda, Sirliguda (Koksara block), Golamunda, Junagarh, Kalampur, T Rampur, Narla, Lanjigarh to brick kilns in south India.
Many are going to work in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Kerala, Surat and Mumbai.
It is said that some companies of Kerala, Surat, Goa and Mumbai are carrying workers by buses.
A company had taken 10 labourers from Dharmagarh on a flight a few days ago.
Some middlemen and labour contractors have taken the responsibility of taking the labourers back to their workplaces. Brick kilns, cotton mills and other plants have started functioning in other states where shortage of workforce has been felt. On the other hand, the administration is allegedly doing no registration of the labourers bound to other states. These migrants are risking their lives by going back to their workplaces.
A database of the labourers at the panchayat level is supposed to be made, but this not being done, it is alleged.