Reports of desperate migrants workers facing the brunt of Coronavirus pandemic are coming in with each passing day, as in the nationwide lockdown they are left stranded without work, food or money and no means to reach their native villages, they are walking on foot to cover hundreds of kilometres.
In yet another attempt to reach homes, Maharashtra Police on Thursday, found over 300 migrant workers crammed inside two container trucks which were ostensibly carrying essential commodities from Telangana to Rajasthan.
The police was shocked to find out that the workers, who hailed from Rajasthan, had chosen this surreptitious and dangerous mode of travel as they wanted to return home as soon as possible.
A team of police and revenue department officials stopped two container trucks coming from Telangana in the border district of Yavatmal for inspection.
“The officials at Pandharkavda toll booth found something was fishy as the drivers could not give a satisfactory answer as to what the trucks were carrying and where,” said a senior official.
“Inside, they found some 300 daily wagers in two containers. Some of them said they wanted to go back to their home state, Rajasthan and could not find any other mode of transport,” he said.
“We do not know what to do with them. They need to go home for survival. We will take some decision soon,” he added.
According to police, they are not sure how to deal with these hapless workers. Although, action will be taken against the drivers of the trucks.
India reported a rise of 724 cases on Friday with 17 deaths after a second patient died in Rajasthan.
Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Thursday, announced a relief package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor via cash transfer and food subsidy amid lockdown to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the relief package, the Finance Minister said the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana will benefit migrant workers, rural poor and the women.
“Government announces Rs 1.70 lakh crore package under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana. The government is working for those who are directly affected like migrants, labours, women etc. We are now announcing a package for poor and those who need immediate help. No one will go hungry,” said Sitharaman while addressing a press conference.
Still, many unregistered migrant labourers might not be able to get the benefits announced by the government.