Stay where you are, UP govt tells migrants 

CM asks neighbouring states to ensure migrant workers from UP,  get facilities in situ
Migrant workers

The Uttar Pradesh Government had reportedly directed district administrations to crack down on the hundreds of migrant workers walking back to their villages in the state, from across the state border. According to the news flashed by legal news portal Live Law, the Yogi Adityanath government had instructed that all those people walking back to the village be stopped and “detained in shelter homes.”

The UP government had also “blamed” the governments of bordering states for allowing the migrants to cross over, said the reports. There was no information shared on where these shelter homes are, and how the UP government will transport the migrant workers who have been forced to walk towards their villages because no state busses were running in the first place.

Soon after this news broke, the UP CM posted a video online where he says that the state’s chief secretary had written to counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan Maharashtra asking them to ensure that migrant workers from UP, living  in those states, should be given facilities in situ. Citizens of UP, and those from other states working and living in UP will be given proper facilities and nodal officers have been appointed for this. These nodal officers will also coordinate with other states where those hailing from UP live and work. This comes on the third day of the national lockdown. 



The UP Chief Minister, however, has only made these quick public announcements only after news reports emerged highlighting the plight of these migrant workers who were left with no option but to return home by foot. The UP government had not made any arrangements, maybe not even for medical screening and assistance, at the borders, which are policed and  sealed due to the lockdown.

The migrant workers, and their families, including children have been walking, hundreds of kilometers for nearly two days now without any support or help from the authorities.

It has also taken the Union Government three days to issue an advisory, telling all States and Union Territories to make arrangements for migrant workers across categories, students and those from the unorganised sectors. The state governments have now been told by the Home Ministry, to make sure that these vulnerable groups have access to food, sanitation, clean water and shelter where they are. This move to curtail unchecked migration, has come days after scores of people may have already crossed state borders. States and UTs have been directed to enforce the Covid-19 lockdown “strictly” and “take action against the violators, under various provisions of the law,” stated the MHA advisory, adding that such action was imperative to “contain the spread of Covid.” 

The lockdown is essential to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, but the lack of preparedness has already begun to add to the woes of the citizens, who have had to deal with loss of livelihood, and fear impending starvation, and beatings from policemen. This also adds to the confusion and chaos on the streets as most states are scrambling to meet the essential requirements for many, especially vulnerable groups and communities caught unawares by the sudden announcement  by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the midnight of March 24. It is only day three of the 21 day national lockdown.






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