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Covid-19 is the most consequential crisis in our memory and has affected everyone irrespective of class, caste, gender and ethnicity. The pandemic also exacerbated pre-existing inequalities, and those who were marginalised took the brunt of the unprecedented crisis. Inter-State Migrant Workers was one such community who were at the intersections of marginalisation. Mostly they belong to economically poor Scheduled Caste/Tribe and Backward Communities. Most of them are agriculture labour, and often due to poor rains and unemployment they migrate to other states for better employment and wage. This essay explores the confluence of elements that helped Kerala to manage the Covid-19 pandemic during the first wave, March to May 2020. The study adopted mixed method, about 132 migrant workers were interviewed using a structured schedule and 10 case studies were collected. The study finds that a majority, 92 per cent are SC/ST/OBC, education level less than high school and economically very poor. The study examined the measures taken by the government to address the crisis and how it helped to address the need and concerns of the migrant workers. It also captured the life, livelihood, healthcare utilisation and overall experience of interstate Dalit migrant workers who reside in Kerala.
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