JAIPUR: The extension of the Lockdown over Corona virus till May 3rd has left migrant workers across the country angry and restless.While the Centre has made no plan for revival of transportation services till now, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot wants the Modi government to address on priority the concerns and worries of migrant labourers.
Gehlot says the workers are keen to go back home and hence the Centre should quickly make arrangements for them to reach their homes safely. The Gehlot Government is also making elaborate arrangements to help Rajasthani workers stranded in other states by appointing a special team of IAS officers in Rajasthan cadre who belong to states other than Rajasthan.
Gehlot has asserted that the Centre should make adequte arrangements for transportation of all migrant workers whether they are Rajasthanis stuck in other states or people of other states stuck in the desert state. Talking to the journalists via video- conference from his residence Gehlot said , " I stress about the workers since they have been stranded for a long while now. I made a request to the PM via video conference to make sure that the situation doesn't become like Surat in Rajasthan as well. You can send these workers home once and then they can come back with renewed confidence. Right now they are restless to reach home."
The Rajasthan CM also claimed that this sorry plight is not just of workers in Rajasthan but of workers all over the country. He added that his Government has catered to the basic needs of the workers but they still want to go home.
"We have told them to wait . The Central Government must also be working on a plan after 20th April as they are under pressure from various states. After the Bandra incident, the Home Minister called the CM of Maharashtra himself. This shows that everyone is aware and concerned about the growing irritation among migrant workers. I hope the Government at the center finds a solution soon", he remarked.
Gehlot also talked about the need to send back the thousands of students stranded in cities like Kota. He reitereated that some time should have been given before the lockdown on March 25. " PM made a sudden announcement about a lockdown from midnight . If three days been given , then everyone would have comfortably travelled and the crowds in Delhi, Mumbai or Surat wouldn't have gathered " he said
Gehlot also stressed that discussions are going on about the situation of Rajasthani migrant workers with CMs of other states. " We have written to all Chief Ministers to help the workers of Rajasthan in their states with basic needs. Moreover, yesterday we appointed a team of IAS in Rajasthan cadre but belonging to states like Tamil Nadu, Bengal , Karnataka etc. to help the migrant workers . They have already made calls in this regard to ease the workers' problems. The inquires are coming in already since last night", Gehlot said.
The Gehlot Government has also announced that it will begin a modified lockdown process from 21 April to revive economic activities in the state . The government wants to restart agriculture and industrial activity in rural areas and and even industries in urban areas with conditions. This step will also help to provide employment to migrant labours present in Rajasthan.
According to the government figures, 30, 427 migrant workers stuck in Rajasthan due to lockdown . Among them, 3855 migrant workers are from within Rajasthan stuck in various districts other than their hometown while 8189 are from Madhya Pradesh , 3298 are from Bihar , 11558 from Uttar Pradesh and 3527 from other states .
The State Government has set up 350 shelter homes headed by Collectors of different districts.The workers are given food, packets , a place to stay and asked to quarantine in these camps. The food packets are also distributed with the help of industry sponsors and big donors.