After the preceding declaration of Lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19 known as pandemic had led to the Lockdown all across the country, leaving massive migrants in magnitude jobless and without food and water and also no means of necessities & evicted led to the abrupt displacing them as Pandemic crisis rattled the conscience of the nation.
The haunting and chasing extracts of these individuals who have been assailing and controverting the law, preserving the work environment or places, keeping the secure removal from each other and not brimming or crowded the conveyance or means of transport including the trains and buses but attempting to travel hundreds of kilometres in the absence of any transport is attributed to regulatory inadequacies.
However, in the current COVID-19 scenario, when analysing the appendages and adversities that face the problems – most rural – urban migrant workers in the informal or unorganized sectors. They have precarious lives and livelihoods and they get their meagre daily earnings allowance in villages from saving.
 It is let-down and pity to see all these migrant labourers walking for days together to reach back their respective native places in the process, some of them had lost their lives due to accidents.
There were many pleas were file in court seeking relief for these migrant workers but the court denied so.
With this the NHRC, national human rights commission , India has taken suomoto cognizance of media reports about a mother pulling a suitcase with her small child sleeping half hung on it on Agra highway. Apparently, the migrant woman was walking all the way from somewhere in Punjab to Jhansi in U.P till she caught the attention of the media as a person.
The commission has noted and observed that it is awakening of the unprecedented and unparalleled status quo and plights and that the central and state government are working candidly , sincerely to address every matter of contention & problems in upcoming during the lockdown . Although it is very bizarre outlandish and strange that soreness and anguish of the child and the family could be perceived and seen and could be fingered by many enroute , except the local authorities .
“If the local authorities been vigilant & heedful some relief could be instantly and immediate be provided to the aggrieved family and other facing the similar hardships. The incident amounts to be the infringement of the human rights and requires intervention by the NHRC’s said the human rights panel headed by former chief justice of India, HL Dattu”.
“All the media reports and news suggest continuing the plights of these people, particularly the migrant labourers whose journey long is not coming to a halt; added”.
Accordingly, it has issued notices to the chief secretaries of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and district Magistrate, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, calling for a detailed report within four weeks in the matter including the action taken against the responsibilities officers, officials and relief / assistance provided to the victims’ families.
The commission has additionally observed and noted that several news reports about the miseries and plights of the people have come to its notice during the lockdown forcing it to intervene in order to sensitize the control and the central and the state authorities to deal with the situation with an approach of respect to human rights of the public at large, particularly the vulnerable section of the society.
In exemplifying to yet another reported incident of dispiritedness and apathy of public authorities and its suomota cognizance of the matter wherein a female migrant worker in the middle of the road had given a birth to infant , and after while she again resumed with her journey with two hours after that on way to Madhya Pradesh from Maharashtra , the commission noted that such incidents only indicate towards the “ Carelessness and inappropriate approach’’ of the local authorities who do not bother to come forward to see the exact , actual and reality of the ground .
With this on Friday Madras High court suomoto sought an action taken report from the State Government and the Centre on the steps taken for the relief of migrants, measures to alleviate the sufferings of migrant workers amid the COVID-19 lockdown situation.
The court further observed:
“When lockdown was announced at the end of March 2020, lakh of migrant workers were stranded throughout the country. Most of the workers lost their jobs, no shelter in said to have been provided apart from lack of supply of adequate food. After waiting for a considerable time, they started migrating to their native states by foot. It is very unfortunate that those persons were neglected and unkempt by all the authorities. The heart breaking stories are reported in the print as well as visual media that all millions of workers were compelled to start walking to their native states with their children carrying all their belongings over their head, surviving on the food provided by good Samaritans to help those migrant workers. It is also reported that some people starved to death due to hunger”.
Besides, this also the High court of Andhra Pradesh also issued slew directions for the welfare of walking migrants observing that it will be failing in its role if it does not react or respond.
Considering the note of the miserable state of migrant labourers in the state who have been forced to undertake kilometres long journey on foot due to the lockdown, the Andhra Pradesh high court on Friday issued directions to ensure availability of basic amenities to the walking migrants.
Lately , the Karnataka high court had directed the centre and the state government to take measures to ensure that no migrant is deprived of an opportunity to travel back to native place on account of incapacity to pay rail.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna said:
“Prime Facie, taking into the consideration, it appears to us that considering the constitutional rights of the migrant workers, no one should be deprived of an opportunity to go back to his own state only for the reason that he has no capacity to pay for the transport . The reason is that inability to pay is due to loss of Livelihood”.
On the other side, was the Gujarat High court with this on Monday the Gujarat high court took suomoto in regards to the reports published in sufferings of migrant workers, their pain and hunger during lockdown.
“It seems people as a whole are hungry and starving People are lacking food or shelter. It seems the product of the full lockdown is this.Just a little support the impoverished people used to get from the NGO’s, other social organisations and volunteers have come to a grinding halt.”
Besides , They’re all frightened and scared .They don’t dread by COVID-19, but they’re scared they ‘d die from starvation and food shortage.
“Under these instances, it is the paramount responsibility of the State Government to assure and focus on the downtrodden class of people that they will be provided for in the best way possible. It is about time that the state government deals very carefully with this delicate situation and instilled trust in the minds of the public at large that they would be provided for.”
IN MY OPINION
According to my insights and outlooks, the government has lacked in providing the adequate relief to these migrant workers and labourers, these labourers has passed through categorically challenging and adverse times, leaving them jobless and in with gowning stomach.
Even if these special trains were started to bring back their migrant workers, the government failed to provide them with adequate necessities,
The government should take action to curb the situation in reality. We would have planned with some kind of assistance and provide appropriate steps to insure that the wage workers provide financial help or have either begun the train services for at least 24 hours so that they can enter their native places.
Rise in food insecurity is a key immediate concern. One immediate measure that state governments can and should take is to provide free food rations to all such women-headed households to prevent hunger among them.
This step should also be taken by other states, planning and preparing measure to bring the labours and workers working in different states, should be brought back to their state of origin.
These measures needs to be taken to ensure the labourers and workers are fine and sent back to their homes.
It is the responsibility of the state to support and assist these Migrant workers. However, the even after knowing the plights and sufferings of these migrant labourers, they should be the first concern as they are backbone of the country, working unceasingly day and night.
They should be provided with proper shelter, homes, in a good visible area where all can fit. They should be provided with food and water with basic necessities.
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.
Article Written By-Sakshi Mehta