The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.
This however exposed the fault line in our system: thousands of migrant workers got stuck in various places, especially in metro cities as they could not get enough time to plan to return. Providing them basic support like ration and shelter then became a herculean task for the establishment.
The workers are expressing their desire to return to their native places, highlighted by various instances of large number of migrant workers conversing in different locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and other cities in the recent past. Along with the disease itself, the migrant workers’ plight remains a national concern.
A recent submission made by the Union government to the Supreme Court of India reveals that there are about 41.40 million migrant workers in the country during the lockdown and more than 2.5 million are living in relief camps and shelters. In terms sheer number, the size of the migrant workers is equivalent to the population of Spain, one of the worst affected countries under Covid-19.
Source: Counter View