Taking care of the migrant worker population during lockdown

    05-May-2020
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In wake of global Corona pandemic, a nationwide lockdown was announced which resulted in lakhs of migrant workers getting stuck at their places of work, away from their homes. Financial and nutritional support and organizing transport for them to enable them to reach home safely have been the priority of the Central government.
In Manipur, thousands of migrant workers are stranded because of the lockdown. State government is meeting the challenge of providing a large quantity of food grains in every district of the state and to distribute it to the needy. The respective district administrations have already set up various relief measures under PMGKAY and other relief funds. Special efforts are being made by the State Government in lifting and distribution of PDS rice allocated for the month of April, 2020 under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme and Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) for all the districts of State.
The migrant workers were mostly engaged as daily wage earners. They come to Manipur with or without their families to make a living , are temporarily settled in every nook and corner of the state. The administration provided relief materials including rice, dal, salt and cooking oil to the migrant workers in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The fact that the efforts of the government are bearing fruit is evident in the number of stories that we hear from the ground level. Sukhal Yadav a migrant worker, staying at Kakching, Manipur has got rice free of cost under PMGKY. Fellow migrant worker, Muna Thakur from Bihar, working as a barber and staying at Kakching has also received 5 kg of rice from Ann Yojana and other relief materials from district administration.
Ramji Ram a migrant worker from Bihar, staying at Kakching, Manipur got 10 kg of rice. He is grateful to the Central and state government for the support they have given. Similarly, Arvin Kumar from Bihar works as a labourer and stays at Kakching, Manipur. He said he and his group of friends from Bihar  have been stranded and were worried how they were going to cope with the lockdown. But he is grateful to the government for coming to their rescue by providing free food grain and other essential items. Jugindra Ram a migrant worker from Patna Bihar runs a small time business at Kakching and stays there. He has got rice, vegetables, dal and cooking oil.
Sushin is a migrant worker from Bihar and works as a labourer at Kakching bazaar and stays at Kakching, Manipur. After the lockdown he is out of work and was facing great hardship. But the government and local MLA have been a great help to him. He received free rice, cooking oil, vegetables and dal. For this he has given his sincere gratitude to the government.
Umesh also a migrant worker from Bihar living at Kakching says that he feels safe here and hasn’t faced any hardship whatsoever. He would like to thank the government for their support and relief they have provided in form of food grain, dal and vegetables.
Yasin Ali works as mason at Senapati district has got 5 kg of free rice twice under PMGKY. Jagat Bista, a migrant worker residing in Senapati district, said he has also got 5 kg of free rice twice. This fight against the virus disease is a responsibility for everyone no matter where we are. And the government has made it possible to be a soldier in the fight with its PMGKY package. The need of the hour is to keep our morale high and determination strong.         PIB