Blockchain to Solve Migrant workers issues in India


In the recent years the buzz around the blockchain technology has attracted the almost all stakeholders in policy cycle whether policy formulators, implementers. However the technology has treated as a wrong and unethical one by many governments spread worldwide particularly due to its attachment towards popular but unregulated digital or crypto currency Bitcoin which touched a record height in the year passed. And many tech giants spread across various nations are pushing their respective government to think towards this blockchain.India is also among them.

Again migration is one of the issue which has more or less created or given rise to obstacles in cities particularly which are termed as “engines of growth” in developing countries like India. Also every year millions of laborers from all parts of India but particularly from Northern Indian states which are typically termed as BIMARU states comprising Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and others.

It will be better to sort out the various issues which are being faced by migrant workers away from their native state. These problems may vary from their size and identity, share of entitlements say ration card, BPL card in the migrated state, linguistic and cultural issues, job security and insurance, hygiene and sanitation at both of the places say work place and their accommodating habitats, linkage of their salary or wages to bank and further whether these salary benefit will properly being transferred to their near and dear ones or not and others associated issues as such. Another problem which is quite common is the existence of middlemen who exploit these workers in different means and variants as there is rarely or hardly any direct linkage or any online and offline portal or platform in many of the cities say Delhi, Bangalore and other industrial cities via which these laborers directly communicate with contractors and owners. Again in order to move from state of developing to develop we have to improve the labor standard in a comparative standard or as per global trend. As in spite of many Conventions of the international labor watchdog ILO or International Labor Organization which are being signed and ratified by India there is prevalence of huge inequity and inequality in terms of wages say Minimum Wages/Living Wages/Fare Wages in comparison to world standards.

Blockchain which is nothing but a chain of information or a virtual cashier starting from the source of information to the end receiver. The nature of publicness or universalness in respects of all the user or stakeholders of Laborer Blockchain say workers or behalf of them their leader selected from them, the contractors or employers, local level

administration and political executive, representative or official authorized to see the ledger from their native state and further respective state governments and other non-state actors or institution working in this domain may lead to develop a solution oriented mechanism for these section and will ultimately reduce exploitation and strengthen these laborers economically and in other means. Further this technology may help to access the basic variables and records like their size, IDs like Aadhar, Voter, Ration and others as such so that in spite of the lack of skills and knowledge these IDs can be transformed or move from one state to another state digitally or in simple word soft copy of IDs may substitute hard copies. Again the various entitlements which they are getting in their native state can also get provided in the other state or the native state government having an option to transfer at least the monetary benefit in the other state where they have gone in search of their work. This might offer the details of all transaction followed by SMS intimation to worker’s family after they get their monthly wages which will not only ensure their family that the particular worker is safe but also he or she has got the wages and there will be a less chance of using that wages into illegal means or liquor or to pursue and fulfill unsocial habits. This common distributed Laborer Ledger also protected by internet protocol, private key and kryptography.And countries like Russia has already started a pilot project based on this blockchain in electoral process.

India which is now emerging as a destination of brain gain from brain drain is having immense opportunities in this domain and if through this technology we can address the problems of migrant workers then why not start it as early as possible so that we can make justice with these laborers who are working so hard away from their home and also a proud citizen of this largest democracy.