Covid-19 and Inter-State Migrant Workers in Kerala

  • P J Nanditha
  • K Sathyamurthi
Keywords: Internal migration, migrant workers, covid-19, lockdown, state support


Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns devastated the world’s population and poor
migrant workers were hit the hardest. The lockdown announcement suspended their
income as all economic activities were halted. Kerala, one of the favourite destinations
of India’s domestic migrants, had to deal with their problems. With a holistic and
humanitarian approach, the state arranged relief camps and food kits for its guest
workers. This study explored the lives of migrant workers in Thiruvananthapuram, the
capital city of Kerala, during and after the lockdown. Quantitatively and qualitatively
interviewed 50 migrant workers were selected through snowball sampling, subscribing
to a mixed method. Statistical analysis of quantitative data and thematic analysis of
qualitative data revealed migrant workers’ plight. By summarising the quantitative and
qualitative results, this study confirmed the financial, physical and psychological struggles
that the pandemic imposed on migrant workers.