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Coronavirus: ‘Quarantined’ by society, migrant workers in Tamil Nadu find timely help 

According to sources, they did not have access to shops to buy essential goods or the needed money and even when they approached the shops, people were scared that they might be carrying nCoV. 

Published: 28th March 2020 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2020 12:56 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers from Andhra Pradesh stranded at NH 16 Chennai-Srikakullam Highway. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick/EPS)

Express News Service

VIRUDHUNAGAR: When the whole state is busy with identifying potential novel Corona Virus (nCoV) carriers, a group of people have been ‘quarantined’ in open space with no access to food, essential goods, money or other resources — migrant workers. In addition to being a disadvantaged group, they are also bearing the brunt of being stigmatised.

One such group of 30 people, who arrived at Tiruchuli around five months back, are stranded in the no man’s land. 

The group of workers, reportedly to be from Mandya in Karnataka, earned their livelihood by selling glass handicrafts at the railway stations and at various spots in the residential areas prior to COVID-19 outbreak. 

“As the lockdown was announced and people from other places were quarantined, the public started avoiding contact with them. So they could not sell their products and earn money”, said Tiruchuli Tahsildar Ravichandran. 

According to sources, they did not have access to shops to buy essential goods or the needed money and even when they approached the shops, people were scared that they might be carrying nCoV. 

The group of around thirty people, including children and elderly, have been staying in tents and in an unused godown at the railway station.

Though they were provided food by the district administration, it was not sufficient as well as they could not eat it.

“We need only atta and oil, we will cook and eat on our own. That is what we always did”, said a migrant worker.

So, the officials of Tiruchuli found a way to help these people.

Around 40 officials decided to spend from their own pocket the money needed to provide five kilograms of atta and two kilograms of oil a day to them so that they can eat their food. 

“After all, at the end of the day we all need to eat the food we like. They are humans too like us. And we need to help each other during such uncertain times”, said Ravichandran. 

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