A day after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the plight of migrant workers, Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has filed a plea for intervention in the case. Currently, there is no nationwide action plan to identify, count and help stranded migrant labourers. The plea wants the Centre to carry out an exercise at district and village level to immediately prepare these lists.
The petition says that stranded migrant labourers have sporadic access to food, medicine and shelter, and are presently dependent on the largesse of private individuals for the same. He seeks immediate formulation of a scheme to provide them with adequate food, medicine and shelter. The petition also seeks immediate setting up of reception and facilitation centres at district and village level to receive and facilitate further travel of migrants to their native places.
Surjewala has stated that these issues couldn’t be raised in Parliament due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. He also claims that the Centre has failed in the formulation of any joint committee with the Opposition parties to address issues of stranded migrants. Based on information by labourers, the government should formulate a nationwide action plan to address their issues and allay the hardships.
Saying that the “stranded migrants have been uprooted from places of gainful employment”, the plea seeks urgent Central schemes to provide gainful employment to migrant labourers, with additional and specific schemes which take into consideration the education of their children and general well-being of family members.