New Delhi: With migrant workers being most severely hit due to the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday wrote to all states/union territories (UTs), asking them to provide adequate support to such workers. Also Read - Arvind Kejriwal Assures CMs Over Migrants, Says 'Will do Everything Possible to Help Them'
Notably, videos have emerged in the last two days from various parts of the country of migrant workers walking on foot in a bid to reach their home states, since public transport has been shut as a part of the lockdown. The workers, many of whom have been evicted by their employers, have nothing to eat as they try to reach their respective destinations, many of them accompanied by large families. Also Read - 'Have no Money': Despite Kejriwal's Assurance, Daily Wagers Leave Delhi
Today, in an advisory to states/UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla directed them to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter, to migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganized sector workers, during the lockdown.
Additionally, in the advisory, the MHA called on states/UTs to make people aware of steps taken by the government, including the provision of free food grains and other essential items through public distribution system (PDS), and streamlining the distribution system.
It also asked state/UTs to explore the options of involving various agencies, like NGOs, to provide food and shelter with basic amenities like clean drinking water, sanitation etc.
Several Chief Ministers have written to their counterparts, urging them to look after the migrant workers from their respective states. Today, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal assured all his counterparts that his government would do everything in its capacity too look after the migrant workers.