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As a mark of their gratitude to host state, migrant labourers in Chhattisgarh lend their services

To prevent these migrant labourers from slipping into a state of depression and ensure psychological comfort, the government has chalked out ways to engage them in creative and constructive activities

Published: 26th April 2020 10:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2020 10:08 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers practise yoga at a shelter camp in Chhattisgarh. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: A Raipur-based interim shelter home, created for migrants stranded because of COVID-19 lockdown,  has become a productive and recreation zone.

Many among the hundreds of workers, trapped far away from their homes, are routinely easing out their stress by contributing their bit in useful activities, either through their skills or supporting in whatever ways their capabilities allow.

This exercise of theirs has an objective. While realising the sense of obligation towards the state administration, they engage themselves in beneficial activities while staying in these shelter homes, which are multi-storeyed flats created out of the new building under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel during an interaction with migrant labourers. (Photo | Express)

Around 300 migrant workers from 12 states and 17 districts of Chhattisgarh are stranded here. Apart from accommoadtion, they are being served with lunch, dinner besides breakfast.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in his recent interaction with the labourers, had cited them as his guests with an advisory on safe physical distance.

To prevent these migrant labourers from slipping into a state of depression and ensure psychological comfort, the government has chalked out ways to engage them in creative and constructive activities. Indoor and outdoor games, interactive discussions, counselling and other activities have become a routine. Anyone found ill is isolated and treated.

Migrant workers engaged in cooking for fellow inmates of the shelter home. 

“The entire premises are being monitored by CCTV camera and has enough security. The regulations on lockdown, social distancing and sanitation are strictly followed,” stated S Bhartidasan, Raipur collector.

“Moved by the support of the administration, many are willing to deliver their roles in accordance to their abilities. Three workers are cook who prepare breakfast and meals for others from the items and grains provided by us. Several are making useful products, selling them and the money they get are their savings,” said Gaurav Kumar Singh, CEO, Raipur district panchayat.

Children at shelter camp with Anganwadi Didis

Various livelihood activities have begun in the shelter homes. Sushila Tandi (Odisha), Pankaj Upadhyay (MP) and few others are making face masks, while Pooja from Kanpur, Suman (Odihsa), Meenadeep from Bagbehera are making jewelleries. There are some who put together cardboards and paper files. Amir Khan (Rajasthan) Hari Kumar, Raju, Khilawan Dewangan, Rajeshwar Saw (Bengal) are all adept in making bamboo tree guards. Other products being prepared in the shelter homes include washing powder, soap and phenyl.

Migrants help fix a tent at the shelter home in Raipur.

Anil Gupta, a lab technician who couldn’t return to Gwalior, is assisting in health-checkup. The administration has chalked-out an ‘Exit plan’ for these labourers who would be given one week of ration when they leave as it would be difficult to get work immediately after they returning to their respective native places.  

Around a dozen kids staying in shelter homes are given special attention through learning centre where they play and study besides getting adequate nourishment. 

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