Exodus Of Migrant Workers Chokes India Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

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Following the 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, tens of thousands of migrant workers and daily wage workers started moving out of cities, citing lack of food and basic amenities

Carrying their children, bags and other belongings, they walked in a steady flow of thousands from Delhi to their homes in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and beyond.

Scenes of migrant workers walking endlessly, while many trying to cram into buses to reach their destination were common in several parts of the country since the lockdown was enforced on the midnight of March 24th, 2020.

Photographs and videos of the exodus are now viral on social media. The helpless migrant workers, only some with masks, huddled close together choking the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. The lockdown took away their jobs due to the unprecedented lockdown of the country.

With lakhs of these workers stranded on highways and inter-state bus terminus, the Ministry of Home Affairs has written to States and Union Territories (UTs) requesting them to immediately set up relief camps for migrant workers/pilgrims etc who are returning to their domicile states or trying to do so during this lockdown period.

The States and UTs have been also advised to set up Relief Camps along the Highways for people moving on highways, including setting up of tented accommodation to ensure that these persons will stay in the relief camps till the lockdown orders are in place.

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh and Aam Aadmi Party, which rules the national capital, engaged in a blame game over the handling of the lockdown and the large-scale migration.

Both the parties accused each other of playing “dirty politics” and blamed one another for the exodus of the migrant workers.

Photo: Twitter

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