The Assam government will provide food for migrants who are being put in quarantine upon their return from other states, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday. The government has decided to find avenues of employment generation for them within the state. Jobs for migrants is now the pet project of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He has been holding meetings on a daily basis.

“The state government has already decided a few measures (to help migrants) – job cards, free skill development training etc. It is the top agenda for the government,” Sarma said.

After their arrival from special buses and shramik trains, they will be first put in institutional quarantine. Later they will be asked to self-quarantine.

“For the migrant labourer, we are going to provide job cards. When they arrive, they will be first sent to institutional quarantine and then home quarantine. The state government will bear their cost of food and other essential things during the quarantine period. Even in home-quarantine they will be provided food. We have decided to give them Rs 2,000 for three months,” he said.

Sources say the government plans to provide work to the workers under the rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA within seven days of the end of the quarantine period. Assam’s Skill Development Department will take steps for imparting training to the returning workers. Government will also identify their skill levels.

Lakhs of migrants have been stranded for weeks without jobs and money because of the coronavirus lockdown. The centre and states have provided special buses and train, but due to lack of money and information, thousands are travelling on foot, cycles, trucks and commercial vehicle.