Amid reports of migrant workers longing for home and facing turmoil during the ongoing nationwide lockdown comes Labour Day, on 1 May. However, there is not much to celebrate this time around.
India has been under lockdown, imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, since 25 March, and since then, in between-state politics, ill-conceived policies, and a lack of clarity on extension of the restrictions, the migrant labourers have borne the brunt of it all.
While the privileged enjoy the safety of their homes, poverty, unemployment and hunger have been on the rise for the unorganised sector.
India's unemployment rate shot up 14.8 percent to reach 23.5 percent in the month of April, much higher than the 8.7 percent reported the previous month, according to data released by think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) on Friday.
Coming as some respite though, is MHA’s order on Friday, that allowed the movement of students, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists and others stranded at various places by special trains to be operated by the Ministry of Railways.
Critics have pointed out why such mechanisms were not put in place earlier, which would have saved the migrants a lot of the suffering.
The nationwide lockdown has now been extended by two more weeks beyond 4 May, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated on Friday.