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Dr. Bijulal M. V, Assistant Professor at SIRP, and Research Scholar Navas M Khadar published an op-ed article in the New Indian Express titled ‘Learning from Kerala and Bengal on Migrant Workers’ on January 31, 2024. The article discusses the well-known Kerala model of social health security for interstate migrant workers and emphasizes the lesser-discussed efforts of states sending out these workers. It highlights that interstate workers in Kerala, treated as migrants, can access benefits under the Awas Insurance and Migrant Welfare Scheme, showcasing Kerala’s robust health and safety measures. West Bengal constitutes the largest group of interstate workers in Kerala, with the West Bengal government establishing a Migrant Welfare Board to support and protect workers. Challenges like imprecise data and harassment persist. The article suggests that the central government should collaborate with states, establish welfare boards, issue identity cards, provide training, and address contractual security and legal support issues to improve the overall well-being of migrant workers nationwide. The successful models of Kerala and Bengal are recommended as examples for other states, emphasizing the pivotal role of the central government in this process.
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