PATNA: Around 1.40 lakh migrant-labourers out of nearly 2.5 lakh, who have returned to Bihar till Thursday by special trains from across the country ,have been surveyed for their skills.
In a first-of-its-kind skill survey, which is being conducted within the migrant-labourers coming to Bihar, the state government is preparing a database of skilled and unskilled labourers in order to create employment for them.
With the continuous return of migrant workers daily, providing them employment opportunities, that too when elections are over head, has virtually become a major challenge for the government. To meet this challenge, the skill profiling of migrant workers is in progress under the Jeevika wing of Bihar on war footing.
All departments of state government including the industry, water resources, urban development, road construction, agriculture and minor irrigation have also started creating employment opportunities in its respective fields to engage a sea of migrant workers returning homes amid the outbreak of COVID-19.
The highest number of 33,921 migrant- labourers, who have returned here, have skilled themselves with works of construction while the second highest number of 11387 of them are skilled with the works of mason.
According to official figures of skills profiles of migrant-labourers, 5456 migrant workers among others, are skilled in the tailoring works while 2037 have worked as fine painters in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and others.
Jeevika CEO Balamurugan D admitted that the data of around 1.40 lakh migrant workers out of 2.5 lakh of them , have been captured for their skill profiling till Thursday and out of them, skill profiles of more than 94,403 have already been prepared.
He said, "The entire skills profiling process is being done into 79 skill heads including construction and other manual and mechanical jobs. As an example,a migrant at Araria quarantine centre was profiled skilled in toilet construction and he was then and there under quarantine used for construction of toilets."
The skill profiling of migrant workers is the brainchild of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and it was he who had asked for it. As of Kumar's directive, the state government has engaged the Jeevika wing for the task under Balamurugan D, who is one of the no-nonsense officers of state bureaucracy.
As per figures obtained exclusively by this newspaper, 11,387 migrant-labourers have also been categorised as fine mason-helpers, 1652 skilled as carpenters, 1402 skilled as centring mechanics, 2205 as tiles mechanic helpers, 1672 skilled in the works of brick manufacturing, 1415 skilled in gates and weilding, 929 in electrical works and 638 skilled in the works of plumbering.
Jeevika CEO Balamurugan D admitted that a good number of 1125 out of 1.40 profiled labourers are skilled in vehicle driving while 781 are very much skilled in culinary and cooking works without any formal education. "Among them,221 are female labourers skilled in baby caring and household works including tailoring," he said.
When the works of embankments strengthening are going on, the state has got 937 workers'skilled in can construction and repairing works while many more of this skill are expected to come in next few days.
Altogether, 108 delivery boys and 929 electricians besides 113 skilled auto mechanics and 438 blacksmiths have also returned to Bihar among others till May 14. Similarly, 3921 workers have also found been found unskilled and they would be engaged other manual works.
"The state government will provide employment to the migrant workers according to their skills and experiences of works in almost all concerned departments in which job opportunities are being created," he said.
Meanwhile, the state government claimed to have created 2 crores mandays for migrant-labourers under 3.73 lakh small and big schemes till date. In next few days, around 2.5 lakh migrant-labourers are still expected to return by 179 special trains addition to more than 4.5 lakh returned so far since March 23 to May 14.