ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The COVID-19 Pandemic and Livelihood Loss

Lessons for the Future

Significant variations in the rise in the unemployment rate across regions after the nationwide lockdown was enforced without any discrimination are noted. The reasons for such disparities are explored and migration is noted as an important factor. States with higher rates of migration and urbanisation, greater dependency on casual wage employment and non-agricultural employment witnessed hunger and an adverse impact on livelihood.


The views expressed in the paper are personal.

Though the rural to all-urban area migration is moderate in the Indian context, the rural to city, particularly the large ones, migration has been considerably high. The agglomeration economies operating in large cities result in higher productivity gains, part of which is transferred to the workers in terms of higher wages, which tend to act as pull factor in the process of migration. Given this scenario, the present paper proposes to study the effect of the lockdown, which has been the dominant strategy across countries to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, on livelihood loss, particularly keeping in view the regional variations in terms of the nature of economic activities. The major hypothesis is that the nationwide lockdown has had a differential impact across various states and this differential impact is an outcome of variations in migration rates and economic activities.

Thus, the paper is expected to provide insights on working towards future strategies for restoration and creation of livelihood sources. The migrants from the low-income households are believed to be the worst sufferers as the risk of livelihood loss is much higher for them. Thus, many of them had to take recourse to return-migration. In this situation, what needs to be done in the rural areas and how the urban areas will have to be organised for coping with return migration are some of the crucial questions addressed.

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Updated On : 14th Jun, 2021
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