Civil Society Organisations Write To Rajasthan CM, Urge to Provide Food and Shelter to Migrant Labourers
JAIPUR, MARCH 30—Several civil society organisations have the state government to provide food, shelter and medical facilities to migrant labourers during 21-day lockdown in view of the coronavirus.
They said that since most of the industries in the country stay shut due to lockdown announced by the Central government, workers from the unorganized sector have been struggling to arrange food for themselves and their families.
These demands have been made in a joint letter by Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties(PUCL), Centre for Equity Studies, Construction and General Labour Union, Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Indian Knowledge and Science Committee, Helping Hands Jaipur and AUMA Foundation. The letter has been addressed to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and state chief secretary.
"Senior authorities of the police have told us that approximately five lakh people have crossed the Rajasthan border from Gujarat by walking on NH8. Many workers have reached the borders with MP and UP. Unverified sources tell us that over 4 lakh migrant workers from Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have left the city on their foot", the representatives of different organisations said, adding that they fear a grave humanitarian crisis which is going to worsen in the coming days if unchecked.
They said many organisations are working on the issue, but sought state intervention since the exodus is beyond control. "The state must arrange food, water, shelter and run buses to transport them to their respective areas. Schools and other public buildings can be opened to provide for shelter and food distribution camps. At every 20 km on the highway, this facility should be provided where people can halt for rest, get water and food", the letter read.
"All toll points should be water and food providers; women and children are worst affected due to this untimely mass migration. We witnessed on the Agra road that labourers have to walk 20 km from the Ghat ki Guni tunnel to reach the toll point at Rajadhani, where they are boarding people into buses", the letter added.