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Migrant Workers - The Most Shameful Episode of Pandemic

Migrant Workers – The  Most Shamefull Episode of  Pandemic 

May 19, 2020 – 4 Migrant workers are killed in a road accident at Yavatmal  of
                              Maharashtra ( www.thehindusthantimes.com ) ;
May 16, 2020 – 24 Migrant Workers killed, 36 injured as  two trucks collided in the
                              early  hours  on the high road of Auraiya District of  Uttar  Pradesh ;
                             (www.thewire.in) ;
May , 16, 2020 -  8  Migrant Workers, including 4 women died in three  separate road
                               accidents  in   Mdhya Pradesh,  while trying to reach their homes in
                               Uttar Pradesh (www.thehindu.com)  ;  
These series of accidents,  one after another,  during  nearly the last two months, have stunned us,  broken our hearts  and have left us helpless,  speechless, only to remain looking forward and count how many accidents  are still to occur in near future ;

Who are these Migrant  Workers ?
They are mainly the unskilled,  casual  workers who move from the less developed Eastern States  to the developed Southern &  Western states of India ; This happens each year,  on seasonal basis, mainly due to the uneven development of economy in our country ; They are collected, gathered  and supplied to the various Employers  of the comparative  developed States  through a network of  Agents & Contractors spread  over a vast area of the underdeveloped  States of the Eastern India ;   

The Shameful Episode Begins  :
·       On March 24, 2020 the Central  Government,  by a unilateral  decision
imposed  a  nationwide lock down on just a  four-hour  notice which left the migrant workers high and dry in the first place ; 
·       The inhumane action on part of the selfish, irresponsible  industrialists who so far,  had utilized these workers to build up their Assets  &  productions  immediately  retrenched  these workers without paying  their  due wages even  for the month of March,2020 ;  The selfish, cunning  & cruel  agents &  labour  contractors who had  collected, gathered and  brought these workers from various remote,  distant  rural corners of  India  and handed them to the various industrialists only to make their own profit,  did
nothing  !  They  simply  just vanished from the scene leaving these poor, helpless, penniless  and shelter less  migrant workers into a big chaos on the street ! And therefore,  very justifiably,  I repeat,  very justifiably,  these poor migrant workers, seeing no chances of immediate withdrawal of the lock down or opening of their workplace, wanted and tried to return to their native places situated  at   various   much distant  places ;

·       What Did the  Governments  Do ? 
They,  in fact,  did not bother for the problem ! The Central  Governments,   as for example,  spent a lot to bring back the  rich citizens and students  from the overseas countries free of cost but what a surprise !  They did not care to solve the problems of the poor migrant workers  either by  pressurizing  the  State Governments   to  provide  them with food and shelters  or by arranging  for sufficient trains  to ferry   the  stranded  workers to their native places  at the initial period of the lock down !  Only, when criticism cropped up from various  quarters   and groups of the country, the Central Government ultimately had to move and   after about a long  forty days they arranged for ‘Sramik  Special Trains’
to ferry the stranded  migrant workers only from first week of May ;       
·       The host State Governments,  where  these workers  were  employed,  neither pressurized the respective industrialists to provide the workers with food, shelter and due wages nor they themselves (barring only a very  few) provide them  with food  & shelters !  Some of these  State Governments, like Maharashtra,   behaved  brutally  by applying  Police Force upon the thousands  of stranded workers  when they demanded  only  for food !  Even, when, much later,  ‘Shramik Special’  trains were arranged by the Central Govt.  these  host States, guided by vested interests,  did not show much interest  in ferrying the migrant workers to their native places ;  In this respect, we are stunned by the mischievous act by the Karnataka Govt.  against  these poor migrant workers !  On 6th May, this State, after a meeting  with  the  local Builders and Promoters,  applied to Central Govt.  to cancel all  ‘Shramik Special’  trains scheduled to depart from Bengaluru !
They very much knew what this workers wanted vigorously,  only to return to their home ! (www.timesofindia.com – 6th May, 2020)
·       The States of the Eastern India were not also  eager to return these migrant workers  to their respective States mainly for two reasons ; Firstly , they did not want to be over burdened with any  extra liability,  secondly,  for fear of Corona Virus  contamination ;

However,  What  We Saw Eventually ?
Being desperate by the inaction of the Central Government and mostly owing to the selfish,  cruel and  inimical  behavior of  most of  Employers,  the Contractors/Agents and  also the  host State Governments,  the migrant workers,  thousands  of them , millions of them,  started walking !  Walking to  their  homes ;  They walked day & night along the roads, high roads,  railway  tracks ; They walked on and on  miles after miles ;  Hundreds of miles, thousands  of miles ;  Accidents  did occur but  the fear of that could not stop them ;  The  so called  ‘urban educated persons’  like us  will not be able to gauge their mental stamina ;  It appears that if anyone placed  The  Mount Himalayas  as obstruction on their way,  they would have  uprooted  the same also  and would continue to walk on and on !   Alas !   They   do  not  even actually  know  how far to walk  to reach their final  destination !!
However, it may be assumed that once  the  ugly faces of the selfish Employers  are open to the  migrant workers they would not  return to their  Employers next time ;  Hence,  these  selfish Employers  deserve the sufferings from the shortage  of  workers  next time !   What is your opinion ?   They deserve it  or not ? 

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