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Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme for Migrants - A holistic perspective

Amidst the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in the country, the Government of India had announced various economic measures under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP) in the middle of May 2020 for migrant workers across the country.


August 18, 2020, New Delhi: Pursuant to this, the Department of Food & Public Distribution had allocated a total quantity of about 8 Lakh MT of foodgrains to all States/UTs which was communicated to all States/ UTs on 15th May 2020 under the “AtmaNirbhar Bharat Scheme (ANBS)” to help mitigate the food-security requirements of migrant/stranded migrants across the country. This scheme specially provided to cover all such persons who were neither covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) nor under any other State PDS scheme or were not able to access PDS foodgrains for any reason, during the unprecedented COVID-19 situation.


The number of inter-state migrants was not documented anywhere but as a matter of abundant precaution and taking into account the extensive media coverage, a very liberal estimate of about 8 Crore migrants/stranded migrant persons across the country was made. The intention was to provide adequately for all eventualities so that the allocation did not fall short of the requirement. It needs to be emphasized that no data on the actual or estimated number of such persons across the country was available with either the Central Government or the State Governments. In fact, the scale of the problem, as got highlighted in the media, was such that it required a compassionate and generous response from the Government so that no one was left out.

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