Odisha Migrants Gathered at Chennai Station Told to Book Online
Nearly 300 people from Odisha who have been stranded in Chennai gathered at the Chennai Central station to go home.
Nearly 300 people from Odisha who have been stranded in Chennai gathered at the Chennai Central station on Monday morning to book tickets to go home. This was following the circular from Indian Railways that they will resume passenger trains from Tuesday.
In the wake of coronavirus pandemic in the country, the railways had stopped passenger train services on 22 March. Now, 15 special trains will run from New Delhi to other cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
“We were borrowing money or the company we worked at was helping us with basic essentials. But for the past four days, we have run out of money and have nowhere to go,” said a migrant.
The migrants said some of them lived in Medavakkam and others near the Central station.
Police personnel explained in Hindi and Odiya to everyone gathered, that they will ensure all of them are provided with food and shelter.
‘Cop is Your Brother’
Many complained that their respective factory owners have driven them out as they have no money to pay rent and so are on the streets.
“Go to the nearest police station and remember, the cop is your brother too. They will arrange for food, accommodation and everything. This is a good government and this arrangement is only for four or more days,” said a police officer.
Another cop even assured them by giving them his contact details and said he will ensure arrangements are made for them.
A few buses were arranged to take them to Pallavan House which was near the station.
Speaking in two languages, a police officer said, “We will inform your factory workers to also provide your essentials to this location. From tomorrow, you can start making bookings online. Only once it is confirmed, you should come to the station. No booking at the counter. Everything is online.”
TN CM Assures to Send Everyone Home in a Week
While assurance for essentials was made, many migrants asked how it was possible for them to access internet to book tickets.
Migrants from all over the country, who were stranded in the city were seen going to internet cafes to check the IRCTC website. Some asked that, ‘When we don’t have money for essentials, how can we afford internet?’
Following this incident, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami appealed to workers from other states to be in their respective camps for another week. He assured all would be sent back by trains in coordination with other states. Over 9000 workers have so far been sent back in 8 trains, he said.
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