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The protracted exodus of migrants from Hyderabad in the time of COVID-19


  • Ipsita Sapra

    (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad Campus)

  • Bibhu P. Nayak

    (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad Campus)


The immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in India saw a mass movement of people, mainly from the cities and large towns to the villages. The lockdown announced by the government abruptly suspended the instrumental value of the city for the millions of migrant workers inhabiting these. As the lockdown period extended, with very uncertain means of inter-state public transport, desperate migrant workers took to the streets in large numbers undertaking arduous and often dangerous journeys to their places of origin. The media highlighting the plight of the migrants elicited responses from different sections. This paper is an exploration of the role of the state and its institutions, civil society and the judiciary in responding to the migrant crisis in the city of Hyderabad, a hub of migrant workers. Closely following the silences and pronouncements of the institutions and analysing the role of each of these over the different phases of the migrant crisis, the paper asserts the need for a closer scrutiny of the universal role of the state response during the migrant crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Ipsita Sapra & Bibhu P. Nayak, 2021. "The protracted exodus of migrants from Hyderabad in the time of COVID-19," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 23(2), pages 398-413, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jsecdv:v:23:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s40847-021-00155-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s40847-021-00155-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martha Chen, 2020. "COVID-19, Cities and Urban Informal Workers: India in Comparative Perspective," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 63(1), pages 41-46, October.
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    3. Ceballos, Francisco & Kannan, Samyuktha & Kramer, Berber, 2020. "Impacts of a national lockdown on smallholder farmers’ income and food security: Empirical evidence from two states in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    4. R. B. Bhagat & Reshmi R S, 2020. "The COVID-19, Migration and Livelihood in India," Working Papers id:13054, eSocialSciences.
    5. Anindita Adhikari & Navmee Goregaonkar & Rajendran Narayanan & Nishant Panicker & Nithya Ramamoorthy, 2020. "Manufactured Maladies: Lives and Livelihoods of Migrant Workers During COVID-19 Lockdown in India," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 63(4), pages 969-997, December.
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