Kerala is a state with a majority of its workforce find an earning outside the state, and a major share are located at the Gulf countries due to many socio-economic and historical reasons.
The Covid 19 pandemic affected the livelihood of these non-resident Indians or NRI workforce drastically. A major chunk of these NRI Keralites were forced to return to their native places during the Covid induced lock-down.
A recent study by the Trivandrum based Centre for Development Studies (CDS) says that more than 8 lakhs from the Arabian countries returned due to the Covid pandemic. Among the 8 lakh gulf returnees, more than 6 lakh people returned jobless. This poses a major threat to the socio-economic fabric of the small state.
Not only the problems they face in their personal and livelihood matters, but a sudden appearance of a huge number of voters, who were on the voters list but was not able to cast their votes, will have an impact on the assembly election to be held in Kerala on April 6.
In this episode, independent reporter Jaison G tries to understand the impact the international migrant labour community in Kerala will have on the upcoming Kerala assembly elections.