Owing to the preceding warning and announcement in regards to the COVID-19 Lockdown, the magnitude of massive migrants labourers evicted led to the abrupt displacing them as Pandemic crisis rattled the conscience of the nation
Hunting scenes of individuals who opposed the law preserving workplaces, keeping secure removal from each other and not swarming at transport and train stations and 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.
With it – the government has initiated to send these migrant labourers back to their respective trains with the Shramik trains, while these hundreds of migrant labourers are seeking to take highways and walk up the roads.
It is let-down and pity to see all these migrant labourers walking for days together to reach backtheir respective native places in the process, some of them had lost their lives due to accidents .
As distraught migrant workers continue to walk to their native places in other states from several parts of the country amid the lockdown of coronavirus, there are dozens of reports of fatal accidents occurring in them. To date, at least 63 migrant workers have been killed in separate accidents, both on roads and on railroad tracks.
The most recent incident of the Uttar Pradesh, giving the details, took place In Uttar Pradesh, where at least 24 migrants’ workers were killed and 37 in an accident took place in Uttar Pradesh Auraiya district about 2.30 a.m. on Saturday.
“The details are as follows of this accident the incident occurred on Saturday between 2 am and 3 am at a location named Mihauli under the Kotwali police station. A trolley cart, which was filled with white putti from Rajasthan. It had people going into Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.The truck had been based at a dhaba in Mihauli, where people received tea. A DCM truck which had about 20 migrant staff arriving from Delhi. The DCM truck struck the trolley, after the driver may have slept on the wheel. Both vehicles were flipped. As soon as we got details, police got to the place.”
In addition to this, the ASP reported and stated that the incident had killed at least 24 and another 22 were referred the Uttar Pradesh Medical Sciences University in Saifai, Etawah. “All of the deceased died on the spot and 15 people are being treated in district hospital in Auraiya,” the ASP added.
With this the another instant episode of accident occurred in Gujarat, in which a two year old toddler was amongst the three people who died due to a mini –truck carrying around 60 migrant workers from Ahmedabad in Gujarat to UP’s Balrampur overturned in Kanpur Dehat on Wednesday.
The vehicle had taken off Monday from Ahmedabad and was on its way to the district of Balrampur, police said.
The police had identified and recognised the dead corpses of two year old Sumaiyya and twenty five year old Rohit – who was driving the vehicle and Heeramanali who was 50 year old.
The accident took place about 6.30 A.M. on Wednesday, in which “The mini-truck rammed into a stationary truck with onions loaded in it on the highway. The driver may have fallen asleep,” stated the Kanpur Dehat Superintendent of Police.
“All these workers had belonged from different districts, “Maharajganj, Balrampur, Basti, SantKabir Nagar and Mirzapur.” The driver had charged them rs.3, 000 each for dropping back them to their respective towns, from Ahmedabad. They had managed to get to Kanpur Dehat, evading police check-posts at different locations, “an officer said.’
With yet another incident occurred on Saturday date 16 may that six migrant workers were crashed and killed in and twelve others were wounded when a truck overturned on Saturday’s SagarChhatarpur lane.
“The migrant workers on the way to their hometowns in U.P. moved on to a truck in Bhopal. The truck was on its way back from a textile factory in Madhya Pradesh. That the driver who had supposedly and allegedly truck was also among the wounded one. He and the cleaner had at least asked and charged Rs. 1,000 from each of these workers; five expired on the spot and one on way to being hospitalized. The injured and wounded have been admitted to a sagar Hospital.
In these recent days, many of these migrant workers have lost their lives, in road traffic collisions or on railway tracks. The workers which are belonging from the parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have travel through and walked up on foot Madhya Pradesh on their way home from the towns in Maharashtra where they work.
These hundreds of workers have met with such fatal accidents, which has taken away their lives and they have been taken away from their families, and relatives as the pandemic growing with the extent of lockdown and taking away their employment.
“Hundreds of migrant workers have been forced to travel home, left without jobs, homes or any money since the country went into lockdown in late-March to slow the spread of coronavirus. Over the weeks, the migrants left their places of work in hordes, starting on foot, on cycles or in trucks and autos for their villages in states hundreds of km away.”
Despite the lockdown and lives have been taken away through the road fatal accidents or rail tracks, many plea has been filed in the some states of high court and supreme court seeking relief for these migrant workers, as the extend of lockdown has been a bucket of adversities and plights for compelling them to leave their host state and travelling back to their sate of origin.
With this one of examples could be the Madras High court on Friday Suo Moto directed the central government and the government of Tamil Nadu to submit an ‘action taken report’ on the 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”.
“The court also stated that it is not only the duty of the native state of the migrant workers, but also the duty of the states where they were working to care for their safety and well –being”.
The bench has directed the both governments to place before the court an “Action Taken Report” on these aspects.
Besides this, the Supreme Court on Friday, the Supreme Court had declined and refused to tickle or entertain a plea seeking relief for migrants walking on the roads.
The court declined to entertain the PIL for seeking directions that the district magistrate should be responsible that for providing and identifying shelters and food or provide free transport to all the stranded workers or those who are moving the supreme court said it was state responsibility to do the duty of providing the shelters or food or transport .
“Justices L NageswaraRao, S K Kaul and B R Gavai wondered and thought how the courts could prevent or stop these migrant workers to walk on the roads, “ How can anyone stop this when they are found sleeping on the rail tracks’’? Justice Kaul asked. Justice Rao said, “There are people walking and not stopping. How can we stop it?”.
However, the petitioner had referred to the death of 16 migrant workers I Maharashtra on May 8 were headed to their villages on foot , they all were heading back on foot , as they run over by the freight train while they were sleeping on the rail tracks . they also sought to draw the attention the court in regards to the death of 8 workers in an accident in Guna
With this “ Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, said the government had started providing migrant workers with interstate travel, but some people did not wait for their turn and had started walking.”.
“He said subject to the agreement between states, everybody will get a chance to travel. “We can only request that people should not walk. Using force to stop them would be counter-productive,” he said.”
“The Solicitor General, Srivastava said, had told the court that his suggestions “will be examined and appropriate action will be taken” but he had not considered his suggestion to direct DMs to provide shelter and rail transport for migrants, both stranded and on the move.”
IN MY OPINION
According to my view, 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.
The host states must be made accountable for the safety and well-being of migrant workers. They should be protected under the article 21 of the constitution of India as India is a welfare state, that all the states must be coming together to render assistance to these poorer sections of the society and all those agencies should be held accountable who had the responsibility of taking back these migrant workers back to their respective native places.
Article Written By-Sakshi Mehta