Over 200 Intellectuals Appeal to Govt to Assist Migrant Workers
The intellectuals urged the government to arrange for sanitised bus and train services for the stranded workers.
Amid reports of mass exodus of migrant workers to their villages, over 200 academicians, economists, social activists, lawyers, policy analysts, retired bureaucrats and concerned citizens have written to the central government to provide immediate assistance to the workers.
Thousands of migrant and daily wage workers crossed over to Uttar Pradesh on Friday, 27 March, and many others waited to do so, desperate to return to their distant villages even if it meant walking the entire way home.
“The government must use the network of anganwadis, panchayat bhavans, government schools, government colleges, railway stations, bus stations, community halls, block offices, district headquarters, etc to set up feeding centres to arrange free cooked food, medical care and sanitation,” the letter stated.
It also mentioned that the some of the foodgrains available in the godowns of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation can be used to prepare cooked meals or take-home rations in these centres.
The intellectuals also urged the government to arrange for sanitised bus and train services to enable stranded workers to reach home safely.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has arranged for 1,000 buses to ferry migrant labourers who are stranded on the border districts owing to a countrywide lockdown, an official spokesman said on Saturday.
The 21-day lockdown imposed from 24 March midnight in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus has triggered a mass exodus of migrant workers from cities in several states to their villages.
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