New Delhi: With the Narendra Modi government faced with migrant distress and anger in various states, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided to conduct surveys to “assess the mood of migrant workers returning home”.
Sources in the RSS told ThePrint that the organisation has already conducted the first such survey in Karnataka where it interviewed migrant workers leaving the state.
“We have started this exercise to know the real mood of migrant workers who are facing various problems in the cities. With a sample size of 25,000 migrant workers, the first such survey was conducted in Karnataka,” a top RSS functionary told ThePrint. “We had a surprising result as 60 per cent of those interviewed showed a willingness to return to their workplace, 25 per cent said they will explore job opportunities near their villages before making any decision but 15 per cent said they will never return.”
The sources said the exercise will now be conducted in several other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
‘Concerned by the magnitude of the problem’
RSS Sah Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary) Manmohan Vaidya told ThePrint that the organisation is worried about the plight of migrant workers and the magnitude of the problem.
“We are concerned by the magnitude of the problem and plight of workers. We are serving them in the best possible manner. Swayamsevaks are serving migrants through various means,” he said. “We have started this survey to know the actual mood of migrants, problems they are facing and whether they will leave their villages when the situation normalises.”
“The RSS has a wide reach in rural areas and our workers have done magnificent work in thousands of villages. The survey will also help plan our work in villages, ensure more deployment of resources to develop villages as sustainable units, which is our concept of gramoday (model village),” he added.
The RSS sources said the organisation has deployed 3,42,000 volunteers to help people in need and is serving food at 67,000 locations across India.
Survey in Bihar, UP & MP soon
Another senior sangh functionary told ThePrint that the survey will be extended to the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
“The major migrant crisis is restricted to two to three states — Bihar, UP and MP. Our major concern is in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,” the functionary said. “Our organisation is reaching out to migrants who are returning. The first priority is to settle them and provide relief in the form of some sort of employment.”
He added, “The sangh is concerned about migrants suffering but it is also assessing through the survey whether the government’s recent policy announcement is sufficient to give the rural economy a push. We provide feedback to the government on various issues, and even though it has its own surveys, the government can use our assessment as well.”
The RSS is also concerned that the migrant situation could become a major poll issue with Bihar facing elections this year.