Owing to the preceding announcement of the lockdown due to COVID-19, the magnitude of the evacuation migrant labourers was left abruptly displaced. Pandemic crisis rattled the conscience of the nation.
Haunting scenes of individuals opposing the law upholding offices, informational to keep secure remove from each other and not swarming at transport and railroad station and endeavouring to walk hundreds of kilometres within the nonappearance of any transport were due to regulatory insufficiencies.
 Though, in the current scenario of COVID-19 when talk about the extremities and adversities facing the problems – most rural –urban migrant workers in the informal or unorganised sectors. They have precarious lives and livelihoods and they in villages from saving‘s their meagre everyday earnings allowance.
With this the government had started with the Shramik trains to deport back these migrant labourers to their respective, despite this hundreds of migrant labourers are endeavour to take highways and walk up on the roads.
The Union home Ministry secretary Sh. Ajay Bhalla, wrote to all the chief secretaries of the states and urging them to ensure that these migrant workers should be either walking on the roads , highways or railway tracks, after their movements have been facilitated by the government .
Now that these “ Shramik Trains” and Special buses have been deployed by the centre to cater the transportation need of migrant workers , the onus of implementing the government ‘s decision lies with States and UT’s , said the home secretary in a letter sent on Friday night .
“As you understand, the government allowed migrant workers to move by bus and Shramik trains — special trains — to travel to their home towns. It is now the responsibility of all states and union territories to support the movement of stranded migrant workers who are willing to go to their home land.”
“ States / UT’s should widely disseminate the arrangements for travel, in special buses / “ Shramik’’ special trains amongst the migrant workers and persuade / counsel them that they should not be walking when they can travel in buses / trains’’, wrote Ajay Bhalla in his letter”.
“It is therefore notified that the railway ministry was able to ensure that more than 100 Shramik trains are operational on a regular basis due to the cooperation of the States / UT’s and is also in a position to arrange additional trains as required. In this context, State Secretaries have been advised to ensure that migrant workers do not walk on roads or railways in an effort to reach their homes, especially because the railway ministry facilitates the same.”
This concern was raised as movement of migrant workers is still noticeable wherein they have been seen on roads, railway tracks and traveling in trucks across different parts of the country. Citing a letter written by the MHA on May 11, it stated that migrant workers continue to be on the move despite such an order.
“In the given letter, the conditions and situation of migrant workers walking on the roads, highways, and railway tracks was underlined, tinted and highlighted as advised in this case that they were found such distress and ailment, condition. They would be appropriately and aptly counselled and advocated and should be taken to the nearby shelters and homes and providing them with food and water etc. until they are facilitated and boarded to the special “Shramik trains” or buses which will be returning them back to their respective places or hometowns . Nonetheless, the movement of each migrant workers walking on the roads, railway tracks and travelling in trucks is still being noticed in different parts of the country”, conveyed the Home Secretary.”
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a plea seeking relief for migrants walking on road.
“How do we prevent them from walking? This Court cannot track who walks and who doesn’t walk”, the bench noted orally when rejecting an application seeking immediate guidance for allDMs in India to recognize walking workers and ensure that they enter their native places, free of cost and with respect”.
“It has been advised that if they are found in such a condition, they should be properly advised, taken to nearby shelters and provided with food, water until such time as they are facilitated to board the special trains or buses to their native locations.”
IN MY OPINION
According to my view, they should not be allowed to walk on the roads or tracks as they are more prone towards to have met with an accident, any kind of situation.
The government should take appropriate measures to combat such issues, they should be assisting and supporting these migrant workers, they should be helding responsible and accountable to those agencies that are responsible to deporting back these migrant workers to their homes.
With the help of cooperation’s and state governments, these migrant workers should be registered in the trains, and no kind of fare or they should have to bear the cost of boarding the trains.
The government should be bearing the fare cost of these migrant labourers to board in trains for returning back to their natives places.
Article Written By-Sakshi Mehta