Understanding the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Migrant Construction Workers in India
October 20, 2020
This briefing presents the results of a survey conducted with migrant workers in the construction sector aimed at assessing the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown measures on their lives, jobs, and personal well-being. 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 government and private sector stakeholders. The study was conducted via telephone interviews over a 3-month period, resulting in 10,464 completed responses from a pool of construction workers who migrated from the Bundelkhand region to Delhi NCR.
Select Key Findings:
- 95% of workers surveyed reported having a job in construction prior to March 2020, compared to only one-third as of August 2020, indicating a 65% decrease in the number of participants employed in the construction sector during the pandemic
- As of this study’s conclusion, 52% of — or one out of every two —participants did not have a monthly household income, compared to only 1% of participants prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, suggesting the pandemic significantly affected the livelihoods of participants.
- Of the migrant construction workers surveyed, 58% were unaware of the welfare schemes and benefits they were entitled to receive, and a further 27% were unable to receive benefits despite having the necessary documents.