Bhubaneswar : In another step forward for curtailing distress migration and ensuring safety of migrating Odia
workmen, Government of Odisha in Labour and ESI department is now set to implement 2 nd phase of the
Work plan up to the year 2020. For the purpose, a two day stakeholder’s consultative workshop on ‘Safety
and Welfare of Inter-State Migrant Workmen in Odisha’ has been organized here in the premises of the hotel
Mayfair. Inaugurating the Workshop today as the Chief Guest, Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi asked
all the stake holders to work out an integrated and intensive work plan for minimizing the distress migration
in 30 migration prone GPs of Bolangir and Nuapada districts. The department was also asked to extend the
activities to other 11 migration prone districts.
In his address Chief Secretary Sri Padhi appreciated the initiatives taken so far by the department to provide
care and education of the migrating workmen families, rescuing the workmen caught in difficult conditions
and setting up the help desks for migrant Odia workmen in the destination states like Telangana, Andhra
Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Delhi. He directed the department to make the interventions more
proactive for prevention of distress migration through integrated work plan and creation of alternative
livelihood options in the migration prone districts. Chief Secretary directed to develop the 2 nd phase of the
work plan on the basis of the learning, experiences and feedback received during the first phase of action from
2014-15- to 2017-18. Sri Padhi added , “the Liaison Officers at destination states have a very crucial role to
play in rescue of the workers in distress”. They should be trained and oriented accordingly.
Principal Secretary Labour and ESI Smt Anu Garg said that the work plan would focus on the questions like
how to prevent distress migration of labor and what are the ways and means to provide them alternative
livelihood options. Regulation of voluntary migration, education and care of the children of migrating
families, rescue models, integration of help desks with various enforcement agencies and departments,
application of technology for instant transmission of messages and quicker action would be other major focus
areas. Smt Garag added wide Information, Education and Communication activities through folk media in
migration prone areas would be another important aspect of the action plan.
In his welcome address the Labour Commissioner Sri Sachin Yadav said that 11 districts namely Bolangir,
Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Saharanpur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Khordha
have been identified as migration prone districts. A total number of 1309 GPs in these districts have been
brought under orbit of the work plan. Two toll free telephone numbers have been installed in Labour
Directorate to provide guidance and assistance to the migrant workmen in the matters of registration, distress
mitigation and rescue. The toll free number of migrant labor working inside Odisha is 155368. The toll free
number for Odia migrant workers working outside Odisha is 18003456703. Sri Yadav appriased that 206
seasonal hostels for children of migrating families have been set up in different migration prone GPs. Around
9000 students could be retained in these seasonal schools during the current year continuing their education.
They otherwise would have turned migrant labors along with their parents. The institution of seasonal hostel
has prevented potential child labor.
Available data show, tripartite meetings have been held among brick kiln association of Telengana,
State officials of Telengana and Odisha for resolution of the issues relating to illegal migration and distress of
labor. MOUs have also been signed with Odia Associations in Karnataka, Tamilnadu , Andhra Pradesh and
Madras for proactive collaboration for safety and welfare of the migrant workmen to these states.
The two day workshop is to be organized in 4 sessions including inaugural session. Ms Nayantara
Sabavala, Director Programme Design Tata Trust and Mr Jitendra Patnaik Regional director Tata Trust
addressed the inaugural session as guests of honour. It may be pertinent to mention here that Government of
Odisha has entered into an MOU with Tata Trust of India for joint action for promoting safety and welfare of
inter-state migrant workmen. The district labour officers, enforcement agencies and other stake holders
attended the inaugural session.