Photo: The Morung Express Archives

COVID-19 and Naga Migrants

Impact of COVID-19 on Naga migrant workers in Nagaland

This project is a collaboration between Oriental Theological Seminary and the University of Melbourne. It aims to document the impacts of COVID-19 on Naga migrant workers and come up with policy frameworks that takes into consideration indigenous communities’ experiences of the pandemic. Focused on community resilience and collective care, this project will engage with community leaders, return migrant workers, and community workers to underline themes of accountability and aspects of care during periods of crisis and emergencies.  

This collaborative project believes in co-creating and co-producing knowledge with concerned community members on the ground. As researchers involved in this project, we are committed to engage with voices of return migrant workers and concerned community members. By foregrounding their experiences, we aim to create guiding principles for policy makers, development practitioners, cultural associations, activists, and volunteers interested in promoting indigenous community resilience in the face of current and future crises. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated patterns of inequality and exclusion across the world, the global pandemic impacted disproportionately on vulnerable individuals and groups. For indigenous communities like the Naga people, issues of livelihood and structural inequality became central concerns. This project seeks to explore the connections between impacts of COVID-19 and wider issues of citizenship, inequality, and socio-political vulnerability in Nagaland. 

Oriental Theological Seminary team

Akumsangla Aier
Akumsangla is the Assistant Professor of Clinical Counselling. She has a EdD from Asia Graduate School of Theology, The Philippines.

Sashipokim Jamir
Sashi is the Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and director of Foundation for Church and Society. He has a PhD from Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky.

Pangernungba Kechu
Panger is the Professor of Society, Christian Ethics and Contextual Theology and Dean of Post Graduate Studies. He has a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey.

The University of Melbourne team

Anne Decobert
Anne is a Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Social and Political Sciences. She has a PhD in Anthropology of Development from the Australian National University.

Michael Breen
Michael is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the School of Social and Political Sciences. After completing his PhD at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Michael was a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Dolly Kikon
Dolly is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies and Anthropology at the School of Social and Political Sciences. She has a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University.