Many of the migrant labourers have been wanting to return back to their villages. The process for registration on to the government-organised Shramik trains is somewhat laborious and involves quite some administration. In addition, responses and acceptance of migrants’ submissions for travel can take up to 10-14 days to be authorised and during this time, they are left without any rations and support from the government. The foodkits have helped them to support their families for up to 7 days.
The Railways have been operating Shramik Special trains for migrant labourers to return to their home states. Until May 28, 3,736 trains transported some 50 lakh stranded workers. Around 40 per cent of these trains ferried labourers from Gujarat and Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Our activists on the ground identified that these daily-wage migrant labourers were left without food and so these ration kits collated by Manav Sadhna (an organisation who works to support impoverished people in the poorest areas of Ahmedabad) have gone a long way in helping those most in need during this time.
During these times, migrant workers have been the most worst affected. Facing unemployment, due to the strict lockdown enforced in Ahmedabad and other cities, not all have not been supported by their employers.
Our team has been working tirelessly to coordinate and support them in registration for the Shramik trains, which are selected train routes to facilitate their return to their villages. Many have faced gruelling journeys, with no money and limited food, if any at all.
As a result of our team’s interventions with local government bodies, we have supported many migrant families, not only with train registration, but with speaking to their company owners to ensure their wages are not deducted. In total, 436 migrant labourers have been registered for Shramik trains back to their villages: 374 in Borisana, 27 in Jedpura and 35 in Nani Kadi, in Mehsana. Migrant labourers remained in touch when they returned to their hometowns and were very grateful for the help they had received.