Who is a migrant worker?

A listless shadow that slips away from our radar of keen perception. One of those countless oppressed, forgotten lives, whose death is the only proof that they also lived among us. They are the muse of intellectual debates, the pillars of parallel cinema, the genie who suddenly comes back to life on election days and then slips into oblivion. These are lives that has no right to dignity, shame, joy and above all the right to life. They are the trump card of politics and the most convenient thing to flush out from the scheme of things once they have outlived their usefulness. “Good Days” never existed for them as nothing has ever been good in their lives except for unfulfilled dreams and the hope of a tomorrow.
Their sweat and blood flows through the arteries of every city but none notice it. Every sky scraper, every shopping mall, every national highway needs them to sober the image of Great India. Though the hands that helped build the India of every privileged man are too frail to register their mark on its surface. But, who cares. After all we need their poverty to flirt with our sensibilities and to pretend that the dark heart of this land has feelings for them.
Their’s are the most consistently unchanged plight in the unique history of our land. They are the fodder that fuels the production of every brick in this land. And yet, nobody gives a damn, as they are better left like bricks in a wall, hidden under a layer of cement,sand,plaster and paint.
They live,eat,defecate and die, while India makes giant strides towards progress and might.
Because we find more meaning in our fantasy than the bitter harshness of their reality.
To the nation, they are not even a statistics.
But, they are alive too and feel most ordinarily and extraordinarily as much as any of us do.
Then why have we become a civilization of revolting contrasts, where the existence of some are below definition, while the rest is so properly defined.


Published by brihaad

A dreamer, a thinker, an observer with a pen who prefers the solitary path to the bustle of life.

4 thoughts on “Who is a migrant worker?

  1. {“These are lives that has no right to dignity, shame, joy and above all the right to life.”} Do you mean that they really have no rights or that they just aren’t acknowledged? I am just curious after reading your article. In the US, is sounds like you are in India?, we have so many migrant workers that make society run and many of them do pay taxes and do try to live a healthy American life, but there are so many people who don’t care how hard you work or how dedicated to your country you are…There are so many who just see that they were not born here and so should not be given any rights.


    1. Thank you very much for reading my post. It means a lot to me.
      They truly have no right, in the actual sense.I have been to brick kilns, sand and marble quarries and construction sites. These are some of the places where migrant workers are employed. Both organized and unorganized sectors exploit them vigorously. I will be writing further on those experiences too. The system that absorbs unorganized labor is designed to exploit them without providing them the basic securities that are guaranteed under the Labor laws. The US has many checks and balances in place to ensure that people are treated as people. We have everything in paper, on the Constitution but nothing in practice. I have seen migrant workers beaten up by their employer because they tried to escape the abysmal work conditions. What rights do a human being have if they cannot even safeguard their dignity ?
      They are brought from obscure hamlets by middlemen who often take a share of their mere earnings from them, to get them employed in these sectors.This has been their plight for centuries and in today’s laser age of lightning fast connectivity, their fate remains a shameful constant.
      In the 70 plus years of Indian independence these issues fairly remain the same. Though there are provisions in the Indian Penal Code, Indian Legal System and the Constitution that apparently guarantees them rights, but I they have failed most miserably to uphold the values of Democracy.
      I think India needs dozens of Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair to keep highlighting these woes. Yes, I am from India.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so sorry for all of those people. I get so upset when I hear about how poorly treated any human is. I don’t know how a human hurts anything else. I really cannot wrap my head around it.


      2. If only every human being shared your values Mam. God bless you. I am doing my best to highlight the plight of those without a voice. Please keep following my posts and kindly advise, wherever you find scopes for improvement. I believe the power of words can change things when the world gives it the strength of purpose.
        Thanks again for your support, Mam. May you remain blessed. Blessed is the soul that has empathy for all.


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