Many migrants from metropolitan cities in India began to return to their native homes with the rise in COVID-19 cases in the cities and the extension of the lockdown. With relaxation of travel restrictions, Bihar started receiving migrants who were returning home. The government made arrangements for them to be quarantined before they traveled to their villages and homes. The key objectives of this study are to understand the extent of return migration, the impact of lockdown on migrant household livelihoods, and the opportunities for household economic revival through social protection schemes. Among migrant households, about half may experience return migration. Most of those who return intend to go back to destination areas in 4–5 months, however they may experience economic hardship without enough jobs or income. Half of the migrant households received government assistance, and only three-fifths reported sufficiency of rations received. As indicated in this brief, immediate financial or work-for-cash assistance will be extended to rural migrant households, especially to those who lost jobs or income.
UNICEF and Population Council Institute. 2020. "Returning home: Effects of COVID-19 on migrant households in Bihar," COVID-19 Research Results Brief #5. New Delhi: UNICEF and Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic; Understanding the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults (UDAYA)