Narratives of Daily Wage Workers Across Mazdoor Mandis (Labor Markets) of India During a Pandemic : Observations from an Ethnographic Survey in Cities of Lucknow and Pune

25 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2021

See all articles by Deepanshu Mohan

Deepanshu Mohan

O. P. Jindal Global University - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS); O. P. Jindal Global University

Richa Sekhani

ICRIER

Jignesh Mistry

entre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities

Advaita Singh

Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities

Snehal Sreedhar

Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University

Shivani Agarwal

O.P. Jindal Global University

Date Written: March 24, 2021

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities associated with the social, political and economic dimensions in everyday lives of citizens across the developing world. While the economic crisis induced by the pandemic has impacted lives-livelihoods across all working classes, the unorganized ‘informal’ work force is exposed and marginalized to a much larger degree as compared to all other groups. With 90 percent of India’s workforce absorbed by the ‘informal’ sector, the abrupt curfew-style lockdowns had a devastating impact on workers across states last year (in 2020). In this study, we look at the specific case-and context- of casual daily wage workers, who, given the extreme vulnerable nature of work, faced the maximum brunt.

This chapter focuses on assessing the socio-economic impact of the lockdown on the urban families of daily wage workers in identified cities of Lucknow and Pune. We conducted a temporal analysis: the pre and post lockdown (when the lockdown restrictions were moderated) impact on the income and expenditure patterns of daily wage (migrant) workers. The findings from the survey highlights how the absence of social security-based safety net, and given the informal nature of work, exposed most workers to greater unemployment, lower wages, and increased indebtedness.

Keywords: Pandemic, Daily Wage Workers, Migration, Informality

JEL Classification: J01, J46

Suggested Citation

Mohan, Deepanshu and Sekhani, Richa and Mistry, Jignesh and Singh, Advaita and Sreedhar, Snehal and agarwal, shivani, Narratives of Daily Wage Workers Across Mazdoor Mandis (Labor Markets) of India During a Pandemic : Observations from an Ethnographic Survey in Cities of Lucknow and Pune (March 24, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3811208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3811208

Deepanshu Mohan

O. P. Jindal Global University - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) ( email )

Sonipat Narela Road
Near Jagdishpur Village
Sonipat, Haryana 131 001
India
8396907211 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jsia.edu.in/content/deepanshu-mohan

O. P. Jindal Global University ( email )

Cabin 6, T4 Faculty Offices
O. P. Jindal Global University,Sonipat-Narela Road
SONIPAT, HARYANA 131001
India

Richa Sekhani (Contact Author)

ICRIER ( email )

Core 6A, Fourth Floor Lodhi Road
New Delhi, 110003
India

Jignesh Mistry

entre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities ( email )

Sonipat Narela Road,
Near Jagdishpur Village, Sonipat
Sonipat, Haryana 131001
India

Advaita Singh

Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities ( email )

Sonipat Narela Road,
Near Jagdishpur Village, Sonipat
Haryana, Haryana 131001
India

Snehal Sreedhar

Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University ( email )

Sonipat Narela Road,
Near Jagdishpur Village, Sonipat
Sonipat, Haryana 131001
India
131001 (Fax)

Shivani Agarwal

O.P. Jindal Global University ( email )

Sonipat Narela Road, Near Jagdishpur Village
Sonipat, Haryana 131001
India

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