Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Health Labour

SHOCKING! States ask incoming migrants to pay for institutional quarantine

Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana are among those who are charging migrants to pay for food and other facilities at quarantine centres

Sabrangindia 19 May 2020

migrants

About 20 natives of Kutch returning home from Tamil Nadu after a long ordeal were in for a shock at Surajbari checkpost on Saturday, reported the Ahmedabad Mirror. The constant changes in guidelines that allowed migrants to return home, left them in a lurch when they were forced to spend 12 hours on the highway without food, even though they had all permissions for travel.

The migrants who were supposed to be home quarantined upon return as per an earlier notification found themselves on the street thanks to a new order passed on May 15 stating that they would have to live in institutional quarantine for a week followed by a week of isolation at home.

It was in the process of assigning quarantine facilities to 20 travellers that the authorities took 12 hours. As if this wasn’t enough, they were told that they themselves would have to pay for the arrangements made.

Mithiben Patel, 27, told Ahmedabad Mirror, “I sold my jewellery to reach Kutch. I was hopeful that once I arrive here, I will be taken care of. But we are stuck without money and resources. We are being asked to pay Rs. 300 daily per head for food. We have a house in Dudhai village. It would be better if we are allowed to home – quarantine for all the 14 days. At least, we can survive on whatever means we have.”

Ambavia Patel, 53, wiped off tears saying, “We are all middleclass families. Most of us are self-employed and our savings were not enough for the journey. We borrowed money at 10 percent interest to hire two buses for Rs. 4 lakh. We paid the drivers Rs. 2,000 per day. After four stressful days of journey, we are being asked to pay money for getting admitted into quarantine facilities.”

29-year-old Hitendra Patel asked, “Isn’t it the duty of the government to provide us shelter? It’s sad we are being asked to pay money. We are a group of 20 people including 10 men, 6 women and four kids. We are being forced to sit by the side of the highway, in the open, in summer.”

Speaking about the issue Kutch Collector Praveena DK said, “Only labourers arriving in Kutch by special Shramik Trains are being provided free food and lodging as per norms. We have readied schools, marriage halls, etc. as institutional quarantine facilities for those who cannot bear lodging expenses. But they will have to pay for food,” adding that food wasn’t such a big issue as several NGOs and sponsors were providing food for migrants.

Gujarat not the only state asking migrants to pay

Apart from Gujarat, states like Karnataka and Goa have also made institutional quarantine mandatory for those returning to the state because these governments believe that “paid” quarantine will deter large populations from coming in.

The Times of India reported heart-rending scenes near Bengaluru, of mothers, students and disabled people pleading with authorities to just let them go home were noticed. “Sir, we will be in home quarantine, you can track us using technology like how you did it earlier for those who returned from abroad,” said a desperate father pointing out that he didn’t have money for institutional quarantine.

In Goa, the government has announced that it will most likely charge anything between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000 per day for quarantine facilities, with the exception of seafarers whose costs will be borne by their respective organizations for those returning from foreign countries.

Those returning to the state from within the country will not be charged for quarantine if they provide an address proof of a residence in Goa. For non-Goans coming into the state, a fee of Rs. 2,500 per day for quarantine will be charged.

Some Gulf workers working in Abu Dhabi and Dubai wanting to return home in Telangana said they were demanded Rs. 15,000 for a quarantine fee even though they said they hadn’t earned any money. G Venkat, a blue collar worker just like many others stuck outside the country said, “Covid-19 situation is still serious. We want to come back to India. If we are infected, we rather want to die in our homeland.”

In another example of state apathy, one of the workers who returned from Kuwait to Nizamabad said, “We have been placed under quarantine in Hyderabad, but if they insist that we pay money, we have no option but to agree for any legal action that will be taken against us. But our families cannot afford to pay for quarantine.”

Migrants have had to face cheaters and death all during the Covid-19 lockdown. Trying to return home, they have been robbed off of their dignity due to the Centre’s efficiency. After going through so much when they finally had a way to return home, some state governments are now twisting rules to prevent them from either leaving the state so that they can work to benefit the government or are preventing them from entering their home states so that the states don’t have to bear the burden to save their lives – examples of utter disregard for the lives of the impoverished in India.

Related:

Strangers as pallbearers: Death and grief in lockdown

How setting aside party politics can help India in the battle against Covid-19

 

SHOCKING! States ask incoming migrants to pay for institutional quarantine

Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana are among those who are charging migrants to pay for food and other facilities at quarantine centres

migrants

About 20 natives of Kutch returning home from Tamil Nadu after a long ordeal were in for a shock at Surajbari checkpost on Saturday, reported the Ahmedabad Mirror. The constant changes in guidelines that allowed migrants to return home, left them in a lurch when they were forced to spend 12 hours on the highway without food, even though they had all permissions for travel.

The migrants who were supposed to be home quarantined upon return as per an earlier notification found themselves on the street thanks to a new order passed on May 15 stating that they would have to live in institutional quarantine for a week followed by a week of isolation at home.

It was in the process of assigning quarantine facilities to 20 travellers that the authorities took 12 hours. As if this wasn’t enough, they were told that they themselves would have to pay for the arrangements made.

Mithiben Patel, 27, told Ahmedabad Mirror, “I sold my jewellery to reach Kutch. I was hopeful that once I arrive here, I will be taken care of. But we are stuck without money and resources. We are being asked to pay Rs. 300 daily per head for food. We have a house in Dudhai village. It would be better if we are allowed to home – quarantine for all the 14 days. At least, we can survive on whatever means we have.”

Ambavia Patel, 53, wiped off tears saying, “We are all middleclass families. Most of us are self-employed and our savings were not enough for the journey. We borrowed money at 10 percent interest to hire two buses for Rs. 4 lakh. We paid the drivers Rs. 2,000 per day. After four stressful days of journey, we are being asked to pay money for getting admitted into quarantine facilities.”

29-year-old Hitendra Patel asked, “Isn’t it the duty of the government to provide us shelter? It’s sad we are being asked to pay money. We are a group of 20 people including 10 men, 6 women and four kids. We are being forced to sit by the side of the highway, in the open, in summer.”

Speaking about the issue Kutch Collector Praveena DK said, “Only labourers arriving in Kutch by special Shramik Trains are being provided free food and lodging as per norms. We have readied schools, marriage halls, etc. as institutional quarantine facilities for those who cannot bear lodging expenses. But they will have to pay for food,” adding that food wasn’t such a big issue as several NGOs and sponsors were providing food for migrants.

Gujarat not the only state asking migrants to pay

Apart from Gujarat, states like Karnataka and Goa have also made institutional quarantine mandatory for those returning to the state because these governments believe that “paid” quarantine will deter large populations from coming in.

The Times of India reported heart-rending scenes near Bengaluru, of mothers, students and disabled people pleading with authorities to just let them go home were noticed. “Sir, we will be in home quarantine, you can track us using technology like how you did it earlier for those who returned from abroad,” said a desperate father pointing out that he didn’t have money for institutional quarantine.

In Goa, the government has announced that it will most likely charge anything between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000 per day for quarantine facilities, with the exception of seafarers whose costs will be borne by their respective organizations for those returning from foreign countries.

Those returning to the state from within the country will not be charged for quarantine if they provide an address proof of a residence in Goa. For non-Goans coming into the state, a fee of Rs. 2,500 per day for quarantine will be charged.

Some Gulf workers working in Abu Dhabi and Dubai wanting to return home in Telangana said they were demanded Rs. 15,000 for a quarantine fee even though they said they hadn’t earned any money. G Venkat, a blue collar worker just like many others stuck outside the country said, “Covid-19 situation is still serious. We want to come back to India. If we are infected, we rather want to die in our homeland.”

In another example of state apathy, one of the workers who returned from Kuwait to Nizamabad said, “We have been placed under quarantine in Hyderabad, but if they insist that we pay money, we have no option but to agree for any legal action that will be taken against us. But our families cannot afford to pay for quarantine.”

Migrants have had to face cheaters and death all during the Covid-19 lockdown. Trying to return home, they have been robbed off of their dignity due to the Centre’s efficiency. After going through so much when they finally had a way to return home, some state governments are now twisting rules to prevent them from either leaving the state so that they can work to benefit the government or are preventing them from entering their home states so that the states don’t have to bear the burden to save their lives – examples of utter disregard for the lives of the impoverished in India.

Related:

Strangers as pallbearers: Death and grief in lockdown

How setting aside party politics can help India in the battle against Covid-19

 

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives