Migrant workers anxious
CHENNAI, May 3
Rinsophy from Manipur who worked in a fitness centre in Chennai claimed she was paid only half her salary in March and did not receive April’s salary. “With no money, I moved into a shelter. My employers are still unclear about whether they will pay us for April, with the lockdown extended,” she said.
Her biggest concern for now, is her sister who is in Tiruppur, employed at a hotel. “We want to go back home once the restrictions are lifted as we are not sure if we will have jobs,” she said.
Zavan from Nagaland, a salesman at a retail store in a mall here, said that he had to move in with his friend after his savings ran out. “There is uncertainty surrounding our jobs. We will have to go home once trains start running,” he said
After the Government announced that trains will be operated to help migrant workers return home, many workers are anxious to go back. Though neighbouring States like Kerala have started operating trains to help them travel, Tamil Nadu is yet to begin operations.
R. Geetha, advisor, Unorganised Workers Federation, said that she and many other NGOs were helping workers get registered on the nonresidenttamil.org website, as it is in English, tp help them return to their hometown.
“COVID-19 has a psychological impact too, as the workers are worried about the families back home. That is the reason why many are hesitant to stay back even if industries reopen. They hope to return once normalcy returns,” she said.
She said that there is a lot of confusion about how the workers will reach the station from their dwelling units. “Many living in the suburbs have no transport and the government should arrange something. They should also be given some food for their travel,” she added. The Hindu