Migrant labourers are under physical and mental strain. They need counselling, food and medicine.
Some of the voluntary organisations provide them food, and a psychologist Sindhu Dholpure counsels them. There are some doctors to examine their health and give them medicines.
For the 14 years, Sindhu has practised as a counsellor. She discourages labourers from seeing themselves as hapless victims of forces arrayed against them.
What the migrants generally ache for is food, and unless they get it, they do not accept any medical or psychological advice, Sindhu told Free Press.
Once they reach the city, a team of doctors checks them and gives them vitamin-C, vitamin-D and ORS, she said.
She said, “It’s a profession that has been good to me, and I hope good for all migrant labourers. If it turns out that they are hapless victims of a force that will mercilessly hijack the machinery of their lives.” The need of the hour is to tell them that, people are with them, she said.
Most of the NGOs in the city are already distributing food, water, medicines and slippers to the migrants, but nobody is counselling them, she said.
“I decided to counsel them to keep them stress-free,” said Sindhu. She has been counselling the labourers for the last five days with the permission of NGOs, like ActionAid, Gauravi, Parmeshawar Welfare and People Theatre Group, Bhopal. It is they who examine the health of the migrants and distribute food among them at Fanda Toll Tax naka on the Bhopal- Sehore road.
She counsels around 600 labourers daily from 5pm to 7pm after their medical check-up. Most of them work in factories in Mumbai and are returning to their home towns, Rewa, Bhind and Datia, she said.
She wants to know from them the reasons for leaving livelihood. Then she advises them to take precautions against the coronavirus. She tells them not to walk continuously under the sun and keep their face covered with a piece of cloth, a handkerchief or a Gamchha, if mask is not available.
She suggests them to remain indoors for 14 days after reaching home. She also counsels them to inform the nearby police station about their arrival and visit a government hospital if they feel uneasy during journey, she said. Sindhu also informs couples about the importance of family planning.