QueUing up for the day’s groceries!

Queuing up starts from 10am daily with 150 or so getting free rations…some turn up every day at 10am or 4pm as there’s no check system! It’s first come, first serve of course.

GO Team

The COVID-19 pandemic and call for lockdown by countries including India and subsequently sealing of interstate borders have left many daily wage labourers and construction workers stranded. There is no source of income or they can’t make ends meet in the current stay-at-home situation. Their only hope is the state governments in the particular states in which they are locked down. In Goa the state offers not only free accommodation but also daily ration quota for the migrant labourers as well as people who are running out of rations and money to meet their daily needs.
The various countries and governments do not want the migrants to leave the state. If they go back to their home state there will be no labour force to work in factories and mega constructions which have currently come a stop, with many construction site labour already having gone back to Karnataka. Another reason is that this is the harvest season and the farmers need their family folk to help them harvest their crops. They are happy that they can take their children with them as schools will re-open only in June-July.
Migrants come to Goa to work because Goa gives them highest per capita daily wages in the country. Even if you do not have any skills you can land up in Goa and get a job the same day for an average of Rs 10,000 a month as a delivery boy or a security guard. Unlike neigbouring Belgaum where the salary for binding in the printing industry is Rs 3,000 for a 12-hour shift, in Goa you can get a minimum of Rs 10,000. Other members of the family can also work, adding to the income. The schools are free if you choose a government school. Even if you have children, there is no problem as the aganwadi will provide what is needed including nutritional food for mother and child. The state government charges only a nominal amount. It is not the migrants who are unhappy in Goa but the original Goans who are looking for higher wages and are themselves wanting to migrate to foreign countries.
Goa is Dubai for the rural migrants of the neighbouring states. The four large North Indian states were so backward that they were called bimaru — Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. All the newspaper vendors and the pav-bhajiwalas on Juhu beach are from Bihar. All the taxi-drivers in Mumbai are from Lucknow. Similarly, Nagas and Nepalis have settled in Goa because they get the higher salaries. Which is why most migrants are happy to stay on in Goa during the lockdown period if they are supported by the government of Goa and various NGOs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

28 + = 29