A Division Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court passed directions on Saturday, 16 May, for benefit of migrant workers who have been walking and peddling to reach their homes.
The observations were been made by the court in light of the news reports about the migrants as well as the affidavit filed by the State of Andhra Pradesh regarding the steps taken to address the issue, reported Bar and Bench.
Taking cognisance of the plight of the workers, the court said that “If at this stage, this court does not react and pass these orders, this court would be falling in its role as a protector and alleviator of suffering. Their pain has to be alleviated at this stage (sic).”
According to the news report, other than the steps taken by the central government and the states, the court said that checkpoints which are established on the highway should have stock of food, water, oral dehydration salts for the labourers.
The court also said that medical staff and ambulances should be made available at these centres for the migrants. The directions issued by the court also included – sanitary-pad-dispensing machines, clean temporary toilets, changing rooms with privacy facility for women.
“State government must also seek help from the voluntary organisations and also from the companies/firms etc, as part of their CSR activity to provide food free of cost to these migrants,” Bar and Bench reported, quoting the court order.
In its directions, the court has said that the pamphlets should be printed in Hindi and Telugu to ensure that the migrants can get the information about the nearest shelter homes. The directive also added that personnel should be deployed to ensure social distancing norms are being followed.
This direction by the Andhra Pradesh court comes after the Madras High Court pulled up the Centre and state government for failing to take care of their migrants’ safety.
(With inputs from Bar and Bench)