Bring home the stranded migrant workers

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( Hindi and other versions of this petition )

Honourable Prime Minister

Government of India

Crores of migrant workers of India are currently in a state of unspeakable suffering and despair. As a consequence of the countrywide lockdown announced suddenly, they have been stranded for many weeks far away from their home state and facing acute hardship. Most of them are out of work with no wages (in spite of government recommendations and appeals). Many have been evicted from their rooms after failing to pay rent, and are living on insufficient or irregular supply of food. Medical support practically does not exist. Some are being forced to stay in crowded temporary shelters under extremely unhealthy conditions.[1] Unable to return home for lack of transport, the stranded people are living in distress, anxiety and fear of the deadly corona virus. Many of them are skilled workers and craftspeople, though mostly unregistered, engaged in various industries, farms and fisheries.[2]Notwithstanding the dignity and recognition they deserve for their role in the economy and in nation building, they have suddenly been rendered jobless and penniless. Some are embarking on a desperate and dangerous journey home.[3] Some are dying en route.[4] Unable to bear the stress and fear, some others are committing suicide.[5]

While one can understand a short term confinement as an emergency measure,further continuation of forced confinement of these people will only give credence to the sinking apprehension that the government sees them as tools of production rather than as valued citizens.Reported efforts of the government to repatriate Indians stranded abroad[6] and students stranded in Kota[7] are sure to compound the sense of their being overlooked.

We strongly urge you to 

·       Make arrangements, in coordination with local administration, for dignified, safe and early return of migrant workers to their homes, after ensuring proper health check-ups and suitable follow up measures as per Government guidelines[8];

·       Ensure adequate compensation for all jobs lost due to the lock down, including those in the irregular sector; 

·       Publish a comprehensive state-by-state report on the entire process of repatriation of stranded migrant workers to their home states.

GanatantrikAdhikarSurakhyaSangathan, Odisha

Gram SevaSangh, Bengaluru

JanmuktiSangharshVahini

KisanKarigar Panchayat, Varanasi

Lokvidya Jana Andolan, Vidya Ashram, Varanasi

LokavidyaPrapancham, Hyderabad

LokavidyaVedike, Bengaluru

ManthanSamayiki, Kolkata

National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers (Inland)



[1]https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-96-migrant-workers-did-not-get-rations-from-the-government-90-did-not-receive-wages-during-lockdown-survey/article31384413.ece https://covid19socialsecurity.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/lockdown_and_distress_report_by_stranded_workers_action_network-2.pdf
[2]https://sabrangindia.in/article/imprisoned-their-boats-along-guj-coast https://frontline.thehindu.com/dispatches/article31286921.ece
[3]https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/coronavirus-lockdown-maharashtra-cops-stop-a-container-truck-find-over-300-migrant-workers/story-cp0fDHUmlKloomlmf7ONMM.html
[4]https://theprint.in/opinion/more-than-300-indians-have-died-of-the-coronavirus-and-nearly-200-of-the-lockdown/400714/
[5]https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/anxiety-and-angst-as-indians-mark-one-month-of-lockdown/articleshow/75352959.cms?from=mdr
[6]https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/coronavirus-govt-prepares-detailed-plan-to-bring-back-indians-stranded-abroad-1671218-2020-04-26
[7]https://scroll.in/latest/959757/covid-19-five-more-states-have-agreed-to-evacuate-students-from-kota-says-rajasthan-cm-gehlot
[8]Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI Office Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I (A) dated 29-04-2020 on consolidated revised guidelines on movement of persons, https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/MHA%20Order%20Dt.%2029.4.2020%20on%20movement%20of%20migrant%20workers%2C%20pilgrims%2C%20tourists%2C%20students%20and%20other%20persons.PDF