As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, 92% of the country’s workforce (who lack access to social safety nets) are experiencing a historic and unprecedented crisis. For the second time in a row in less than a year, the country witnessed a virtual lockdown. The effects of the restrictions in economic activity and the lack of any social security safeguards have hit the migrant and informal sector workers the hardest. The Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN), which began last year as a voluntary effort to mobilise relief for stranded migrant workers, relaunched its helpline on 21st April 2021. In this report we attempt to highlight the multiple dimensions of precarity experienced by migrant and informal workers during this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the current crisis has been similar to last year’s in terms of the dimensions of distress experienced, but also exceptional as it has compounded the problems of workers who now have little savings and limited access to safety nets. Through our conversations with around 8,000 workers and their family members we record the limited availability of food and rations, lack of access to basic healthcare, low levels of income and earnings, increasing levels of indebtedness, the struggles of surviving in the city, and the additional set of concerns with returning to life in the villages. In the context of these deeply alarming trends, we juxtapose and study the central and state governments’ responses. The state governments’ responses have definitely been inadequate. Many of the policy initiatives introduced thus far have been limited in terms of coverage, procedurally confusing and alienating, on the whole failing to account for the needs of migrant workers and their families. We find the central government’s response to be the most disconcerting as it appears to have all but abdicated responsibility, instead expecting the states to respond to the crisis. There have been no budgetary extensions or policy announcements that cover migrant workers’ distress. In the context of the government’s feeble response, we propose a set of recommendations, many of which align with the long standing demands made by workers’ unions, civil society organisations, labour activists, policy experts and academics. These specific recommendations have been arrived at in consultation with academics and civil society organisations. SWAN has actively participated in these consultations. We discuss the feasibility of these measures and underscore the urgent need for the government to provide a comprehensive policy response that alleviates the growing distress of migrant and informal workers—a group that has suffered disproportionately due to the impacts of the pandemic.