Coronavirus crisis: 20 lakh migrant workers stranded in relief camps

By: |
April 17, 2020 4:05 AM

The labour ministry has started mapping details of such workers from April 8. Along with basic details such as name, age, gender, occupation, residential address and native district/state, details of their bank accounts and Aadhhar cards are also being collected.

The labour ministry has started mapping details of such workers from April 8.

At least 20 lakh migrant workers are now stranded away from their native places. They are living in relief camps set up by state government authorities or by their employers in localities where they were clustered before the outbreak of Covid-19, sources in the labour ministry said.

The number of such stranded workers might, however, go up as the labour ministry, which is mapping details of such workers with the help of district administrations, is yet to receive responses from some states, officials said, adding that any decision on providing them with any financial help would be taken at the highest level. “So far, the number of stranded migrant workers is around 20 lakh. However, we are yet to get response from some states,” an official said.

The labour ministry has started mapping details of such workers from April 8. Along with basic details such as name, age, gender, occupation, residential address and native district/state, details of their bank accounts and Aadhhar cards are also being collected.

Those who are mainly employed in occupations like agriculture, domestic work, building and other construction work, shop and establishment service, automobile works, security services, rickshaw pulling, hotel and restaurant services are being mapped.

As per Census 2001, the total number of internal migrants in India was 309.385 million. In view of the recent directions of the Supreme Court regarding welfare of migrant labourers housed at relief shelters/camps in different parts of country, the Ministry of Home Affairs had on April 12 written to all states to take necessary action in compliance of the directions of the apex court, while implementing lockdown measures.

The Supreme Court had on March 31 directed to the Centre that adequate medical facilities, besides proper arrangements for food, clean drinking water and sanitation be ensured for migrant workers at relief camps/shelters. The Supreme Court had also observed that the anxiety and fear of migrants should be understood by the police and other authorities, and that they should deal with migrants in a humane manner, an official release said.

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