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The sudden imposition of the nationwide lockdown in view of the coronavirus pandemic in the last week of March resulted in hundreds and thousands of migrant workers, most of them daily-wagers, losing jobs. With no means of employment, many of them started returning to their native villages. This COVID-19-triggered reverse migration was the second-largest mass migration in the recorded history of India, after the Partition, where more than 14 million people were displaced. The otherwise invisibilised lives and working conditions of migrants were brought to national attention when the unplanned lockdown forced them to walk long distances to reach their homes.

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