Address the grievances of migrant labourers: Govt to states

New Delhi (IANS) The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed all states and union territories to take appropriate action to address the grievances of migrant labourers as directed by the Supreme Court and to submit a compliance report on the same.

In a letter, dated April 1, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan directed chief secretaries of all the states and union territories to ensure that the issue of migrant labourers should be worked out as per the directions given by the apex court. Sudan said "All states are accordingly requested to take necessary action and submit a compliance report to the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme court."

The Supreme Court of India while disposing the writ petitions number 468/2020 and 469/2020 in the public interest for redressal of grievances of migrant labourers in different parts of the country has given directions to set up relief camps and shelter homes with adequate medical facilities besides proper arrangements for food, clean drinking water and sanitation.

The Court also directed that the trained counsellor and community group leaders belonging to all faiths will visit all the relief camps and shelter homes wherever migrants are located in the country and deal with any consternation that the migrants might be going through.

Sudan also said ,"A detailed guidelines to deal with psychosocial issues among migrants have been placed on the website of the Ministry."

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The Supreme Court has ordered that the anxiety and fear of the migrants should be understood by the police and other authorities and they should deal with the migrants in a humane manner. The order also said that the state Governments/union Territories should endeavour to engage volunteers along with the police to supervise the welfare activities of the migrants and all concerned to appreciate the trepidation of the poor men, women and children and treat them with kindness.

After the nation wide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 in the wake of a novel coronavirus surge in the country, migrant labourers in huge numbers started moving from various parts of the country towards their villages.

They even began their journey by walking up to their homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

A sea of such labourers was seen on Anand Vihar and Kaushambi bus terminals in Delhi and Ghaziabad on March 29 to catch buses provided by the state governments. This was followed by many videos surfacing on social media where those labourers, after reaching at certain places, were treated inhumanely by the local administrations and others.

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