Author: D Raghunandan
One of the saddest episodes of the COVID catastrophe in India was that of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who found themselves stranded, abandoned, and compelled to make their way back to their villages after an ill planned national lockdown. Once the lockdown was lifted, with little income in rural areas, they returned to the cities where they had earlier worked, but now faced lower employment security, incomes and benefits. This timely paper focuses attention on the rural economy and its inability to provide adequate employment. Can we imagine a future where the process of rural-out migration is reversed? If so, what kinds of jobs can be created in rural areas and which sectors have the potential to enable this?