KOCHI: Nearly half a lakh migrant workers stuck in Ernakulam district due to the lockdown need not change their menu as community kitchens will provide their favourite dishes such as chappati, roti, rice, sabji and pickle.
The state government has decided to set up exclusive ‘migrant community kitchens’ at Perumbavoor, the town where the largest number of migrant population in Kerala are living.
Though most of them have left the state before the nation-wide lockdown was announced, nearly 46,000 migrant workers are still staying in the labour camps here. As per the plan, the first such community kitchen will be opened at Bengali colony at Perumbavoor where around 3,000 migrant workers are staying.
The decision to set up the exclusive migrant community kitchens was taken in the wake of the Payippad incident in which hundreds of migrant workers marched on the street on Sunday demanding transportation back to their native places and their desired food.
Speaking to TNIE, Minister for Agriculture V S Sunil Kumar, who is in charge of containing Covid-19 in the district, said five exclusive kitchens would be set up at Perumbavoor for the migrant workers.
“As per the data prepared by the labour department, 45,523 migrant workers are staying in Ernakulam district. Of them, 8,000 migrant workers do not come under any contractor or employer. Since their food habit is different from us, the Kerala dishes that we serve through Kudumbashree community kitchens will not satisfy them. Considering this factor and to make them comfortable during the lockdown, we have decided to supply roti, chappati, daal, rice and pickle through the kitchen. We have already brought some chappati-making machines to the community kitchens,” said Sunil Kumar.
He said though the kitchens will be operated under the guidance of Kudumbashree, it was decided to deploy some migrant workers so that they can make the food to satisfy their taste buds.“We have also arranged 50 bags of wheat powder weighing 50kg each along with sufficient quantity of rice and vegetables,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, the district administration also started a ‘war room’ to collect the data of migrant workers.
“We have already started collecting details of the migrant workers. This will also help identify their native places, language, food habits and the present living conditions. The war room data will assist the officers concerned to provide accommodation to them if they are staying under unhygienic conditions,” added Sunil Kumar.
- Exclusive ‘migrant community kitchens’ to be set up at Perumbavoor, the town where the largest number of migrant population in Kerala are living
- Decision follows the protest by migrant workers at Payippad
- Kitchens to be operated under the guidance of Kudumbashree
- lMigrant workers also to be roped in to make food appealing to them