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The onset of disability is a natural part of the ageing process. However, this can often lead to the need for care. In India, it has been a traditional practice that older adults obtain socio-economic support and health care from a family caregiver, usually from their children, spouse or immediate family members (Ugargol et al, 2016). Hence, the household living arrangements of older people in India are seen as important for the availability of family support. Kerala is one of the states in India that has undergone rapid demographic transition (Liebig and Rajan, 2003; Guilmoto and Rajan, 2005).

https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2m7c5g7.13

S. Irudaya Rajan and U. R. Arya 2022. Financial Abuse in Domestic Settings in Later Life: A Study Based on COVID-Hit Kerala,  S. I. Rajan (ed.), Handbook of Aging, Health and Public Policy, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-1914-4_126-1

The pandemic has impacted the mobility of people across the globe in a way no other event in the past ever has. Travel restrictions and border sealing imposed by countries to curb the spread of the Covid-19 resulted in a large number of people being stuck in foreign nations, unable to return to their homes. The effect of such a move was felt not just by the migrant population living and working abroad but also by students studying abroad, tourists, and business travellers. Migrants felt the pandemic’s effect in different ways, ranging from loss of jobs to cancellation or expiration of visas, thus rendering many unemployed and without any income to support them or send remittances to their families back home who depend on such remittances for their day-to-day expenditures. It is thus pertinent that we study the challenges faced by the emigrants, the assistance provided by the governments in the host and destination countries, and the policies that the home government has put forward to facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegrate them into the labour market of their country of origin. This chapter aims to shed lighton the above-mentioned aspects.

The pandemic has led to mass destabilisation of economies and societies across the world. The exponentially rising cases of infections around the globe prompted national lockdowns and near-blanket bans on the movement of people from one place to another. This has had major ramifcations the work-life spectrum, but most notably on the lives of migrant workers, especially in India.

In the wake of India’s 25 March 2020 decision to impose a national lockdown, domestic migrants took desperate measures to reach home amid the pandemic and policies taken to contain it, at both the central and state levels. Migrants’ often long treks home were made in the most inhospitable of conditions, frequently with tragic results (Rajan et al., 2020a, b). In the end, we witnessed what some observers describe as ‘the largest movement of migrants since the partition’ (Ellis-Petersen & Chaurasia, 2020).

This chapter examines how the pandemic affected the lives and livelihoods of migrants in India. In doing so, we also critically examine the response of the governments at the central and state levels, thereby providing insights into how we can avoid such a dire situation in the future. In order to understand how these events came to pass, it is important to comprehend the size of the internal migrant population in India.

Migration is mostly perceived as an economically motivated process. In this context, this study tries to empirically examine the extent of economic consequences of migration in West Bengal, both at the inter-state destinations and at the source. The study shows that the remittance-receiving households are more likely to have a higher share of spending on items of human capital formation such as health and education. Given this outcome, it can be suggested that government agencies should take up initiatives to identify and provide proper guidance to those who are prospective migrants so that migration can both be safe and more rewarding.