Over 1.12 lakh daily wage workers died by suicide between 2019 and 2021, the Centre informed the Parliament on Monday.

Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav said 32,563 daily wage workers died in 2019, 37,666 in 2020, and 42,004 in 2021. He was responding in the Lok Sabha to a question by Congress MP Su Thirunavukkarasar.

Source: LokSabha.nic

The period between 2020 to 2021 overlaps with the time when India was one of the worst-hit countries during the first two waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

A mass exodus of migrant workers from major cities was a point of concern during the countrywide lockdown in March 2020. With most modes of public transport shut down, thousands of migrant workers were left with the option of either ferrying rides on private vehicles with cramped spaces, or walking hundreds of kilometres on the way to their hometowns.

More than 8,700 persons, most of whom were migrants, were killed on railway tracks in 2020 despite a halt in passenger train services, the government had said.

Also read: India failed its migrant workers yet again during the second wave of Covid-19

On Monday, Yadav told in Parliament said that 4.56 lakh persons, including daily wage workers, died by suicide in the three years from 2019 to 2021.

This included 66,912 housewives, 53,661 self-employed persons, 43,420 salaried persons, 43,385 unemployed persons, 35,950 students and 31, 839 persons employed in the farming sector and agricultural labour.

The minister also informed the House that the government is mandated to provide social security to workers in the unorganised sector, including daily wage workers, by formulating suitable welfare schemes under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act of 2008.

He listed schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan and others that are being run for the purpose.