Migrant labour population in Kerala increases.It is reported that the number of labourers from other States working in Kerala has reached a figure of twenty five lakh. Seventy five percent of them are from States such as West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. West Bengal supplies the maximum with twenty percent of them. Work force consists of almost entirely single males under the age group from 18 to 35 years. Around 2.35 lakh people arrive here in search of work annually.
Majority of them work under contractors and get engaged six or even seven days a week. Their living conditions are generally very poor, with several of them collectively staying in temporary sheds with sheet roofing and cooking themselves in one corner of the hall. Water facilities are very scarce and hygiene very poor.
Daily earning of majority , about three fourth, are above rupees three hundred a day. Skilled and unskilled workers are among them, majority being unskilled. Since lots of construction works are going on in Kerala, a good number of them – about sixty percent – are engaged in that sector. They also find avenues in hospitality, manufacturing, trade and agriculture fields also. Carpenters, masons, electricians and such skilled workers are there among them. They work more than eight hours a day and generally are found to be sincere and dedicated.
An estimate shows that they are sending home through banking channels an amount of Rs. 17,500 crores annually. It may be noted that this amount comes to about 36% of the amount sent by people of Kerala, working in foreign countries, annually (Rs.49,000 crores).