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.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, appealed to all and particularly Congress leaders and workers to help these labourers who are migrating back to their homes during the countrywide lockdown to provide them food and shelter if one finds them passing through their towns, cities and villages.
Gandhi, this morning took to Twitter and said, “Today, hundreds of our brothers and sisters, along with their hungry and thirsty families have to move towards their villages. On this difficult path of theirs, those of you who are capable enough, provide them with food, shelter and water. The appeal to help the needy is particularly from Congress workers and leaders,” he said.
आज हमारे सैकड़ों भाई-बहनों को भूखे-प्यासे परिवार सहित अपने गाँवों की ओर पैदल जाना पड़ रहा है।इस कठिन रास्ते पर आप में से जो भी उन्हें खाना-पानी-आसरा-सहारा दे सके,कृपा करके दे! कॉंग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं-नेताओं से मदद की ख़ास अपील करता हूँ।
जय हिंद! pic.twitter.com/ni7vkhRQAZ
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 28, 2020
Since Wednesday, scores of migrant workers have been spotted at Delhi-Ghaziabad border who were on their way home on foot crossing miles after miles. Many of them are apprehensive of the situation after the sudden announcement of the 21-day lockdown while others are sent on leave by their contractors.
Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law and businessman Robert Vadra wrote on Facebook: “I feel terrible for the poor people, who have no food or place to stay and with the sudden coronavirus lockdown had no healthy shelter and forced to travel back to their villages.”
The post further read, “There are elderly, women, and little children who are walking back for kilometres, as there are no vehicles to transport them, and pay their savings to put the elderly in rickshaws or in these unsafe concoction of a vehicle called a ‘Jugaad’, and travel for days.”
“I request the central government, and state governments to help these people, and I am finding ways as well if authorities can help these people at adjoining borders assist them to get home, in the safest and healthiest ways,” Vadra wrote.
The Centre is executing measures against Coronavirus pandemic and the economic bailout package too had been announced by the Centre on Thursday.
PM Modi on Tuesday evening announced a “total lockdown” across the country, asking people to “forget about stepping out of their homes” for the next three weeks.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman 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
After the sudden announcement of the lockdown, initially people were seen panic stricken and went out in the markets to buy essential commodities, as no announcement regarding the same was made which led to confusion among people.
The daily wagers and migrant workers are also left in the lurch as they are left without any job, food , money or place to stay, and without any means of transport to reach back their native places, they are walking hundreds of kilometres, across the country to reach their home.
India on Saturday recorded a sharp rise in the number of Coronavirus cases with 149 patients testing positive for the highly contagious disease — the highest single-day jump — taking the tally over 850 with the death toll at 19, according to the Union Health Ministry.