Mumbai: The nationwide lockdown has left many migrant labourers unemployed and homeless. Photographs and videos of many of them walking to their hometowns, especially in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, have begun doing the rounds.

Against this backdrop, the ministry of home affairs has asked all the states and union territories to urgently take steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter, to migrant labourers to avoid inconvenience and further spread of the virus.

They have also been asked to take the aid of agencies, including NGOs, to provide food, shelter, and basic amenities like clean drinking water and sanitation. This is needed to mitigate the situation for the unorganised sector, particularly stranded migrant workers.

Further, the Ministry of Home has asked states and UTs to take steps to ensure that students and working women from other states are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation.

These initiatives will help prevent the movement of such people. The state government has already launched a slew of initiatives to help migrant labourers.

Minister of Tourism Aaditya Thackeray, in his tweet, said, "CM Uddhav Thackeray ji has asked all district collectors to find and reach out to all those from other states, including pilgrims, labourers, and so on, stuck in Maharashtra due to the lockdown and ensure that they are looked after by the state.’’

Further, he also responded to the tweet by Trinamool Congress MP Derek Obrien that 800 labourers from West Bengal are stuck in the state. He assured that the state government will take care of them.

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren had urged Thackeray to help 28 labourers stranded in Ulhasnagar in Thane district. Local Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde intervened in response to Thackeray’s call and distributed food packets to those labourers.

About 63 residents of Bokaro in Jharkhand, who were working in Navi Mumbai, wanted to go home in view of the lockdown, which has badly affected the livelihood and movement of people.

Thackeray asked the district collector concerned to provide them necessary assistance. Moreover, responding to the Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, Thackeray asked the Nanded administration to take care of stranded pilgrims to minimise inconvenience. A local Gurudwara is providing them food.

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Free Press Journal