Within the scorching Chennai warmth, Vijay Kumar (45) and his two mates from work walked their manner from Thoraipakkam within the outskirts of town in the direction of the Chennai central railway station. In the previous couple of days of lockdown, their solely reduction got here within the type of a message from the federal government. Vijay Kumar. from Bisrakh in Uttar Pradesh, initially thought the message was particulars of his ticket for a visit again dwelling.
On reaching the Southern Railway workplace, Vijay Kumar and his mates have been saddened to listen to that the message was only a affirmation message that their type had been registered with the TN authorities for his or her return to their dwelling state.
Outdoors the railway headquarters, reverse to the Rajiv Gandhi authorities hospital, the place Covid-19 sufferers are handled, over 50 migrant labourers have been sitting on the platform ready to get readability on the practice schedules.
Most have them have transformed a used handkerchief or an outdated scarf right into a face masks to guard themselves from the an infection.
With a variety of nervousness and lack of expertise of the native tongue or English, they rush in the direction of any one who they suppose will have the ability to talk with them.
“We began strolling from earlier morning at this time, two of our colleagues are ready in our room for a name from officers. We got here right here to finish the enquiry. We get meals and water however what about our households again dwelling? We should ship them some cash for them to get some meals,” Vijay stated whereas including that he cannot ship cash dwelling with out a wage.
The lean trying man claims that he has the power to stroll all the best way dwelling if that’s the solely answer for him to be together with his household. Regardless that the Sentral authorities has given permission for the development work to renew, offered the employees are on the location, Vijay says his contractors are but to start out any work.
“Even when they’re to start out work, we wish to go dwelling. MGNREGA is now there in my village is what I’m informed. I’ll quite be with my household and work by way of MGNREGA,” Vijay stated.
Mohan Kumar (47) who has come to the southern railway workplace with Vijay says that his little kids are ready for his secure return again dwelling. “Corona is in all places. I wish to be with my kids than right here. Earlier there have been no jobs again dwelling, however the authorities is offering MNREGA jobs there now,” Mohan says.
Based on an earlier report by the Tamil Nadu labour division, there are round 10 lakh migrant labourers in Tamil Nadu and plenty of of them are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal and so forth.
Most of those labourers have already demanded that they’re despatched again dwelling. There have been many who’ve even tried strolling their option to their native locations. This might be a really massive problem for the industries within the state, say consultants.
“The problem with the migrant labourers is as soon as they return, they get rooted of their dwelling city and their reluctance to return again might be very evident,” R Ganpati, President, Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Business, stated.
Ganpati additional added: “If labourers return dwelling, their tendency might be to not come again. That might be a problem. You usually cannot change migrant labourers simply. It can take roughly one other six months earlier than the established order may be achieved. At current, the availability and demand are each destructed and provide may be destroyed even additional within the absence of migrant labourers.”
The Tamil Nadu authorities has already opened a portal the place migrant labourers can register in the event that they wish to return dwelling, and at this time, the federal government has stated that will probably be able to pay from the state catastrophe reduction fund for his or her tickets in case the migrants or the receiving state cannot pay for them.
On Might 8, a number of tons of of employees from Jharkhand tried to stroll their manner in the direction of their properties. These labourers have been forcefully stopped by the police and after a light lathi-charge, they have been taken to a non-public wedding ceremony corridor, promising meals, shelter and preparations to take them dwelling.
Vijay Kumar, Mohan Kumar and the others continued their wait outdoors the southern railway workplace until night and later determined to stroll some 30 odd km again to their non permanent properties.