Raipur: In these times of corona infection and lockdown, when even the loved ones have turned strangers. Owners and contractors have deserted labourers. In such a situation labourers, who in their pursuit to earn a better life, sweat day in and day out, in construction companies, factories, mills and high-rise buildings in various cities and industrial areas of the country, are all out on the streets with tears in their eyes and are walking barefoot to their respective villages. Workers are walking for thousands of thousands of kilometers barefooted. There is hardly any corner of the country where labourers can’t be seen on the highways and roads. The helpless labourers carrying their small household bundles on their head and small children on their shoulder, walk as their teary eyes narrate the tale of their helplessness.
The facilities of tea, breakfast, meal, health checks and free transport being provided to all the workers reaching the borders of Chhattisgarh state have healed to a great extent the pain and suffering of the workers. In the light of this helplessness, the sensitivity of the Chhattisgarh government provides solace to many. On the instructions of the Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel, the officials of the administration are busy in serving the migrant labourers, reaching the borders of the state, as a guest of Chhattisgarh irrespective of the state they belong to. On Chief Minister’s appeal, people of the state’s self-help organisations, social service institutions, industry and trade organizations are also working in partnership with the government to help the workers. Seeing the arrangements made by Chhattisgarh government to provide help and assistance to the helpless migrant labourers, one remembers the couplet of Urdu poet Iqbal, which says – my job is to support the poor and love those who are in pain.
The Chhattisgarh government has not only provided food and drinking water for the workers who have reached the checkpost of all the border areas of Chhattisgarh, from other states of the country, but by free bus provided by CG government, the workers are reaching their state borders safely. Chhattisgarh government has arranged 100 buses to ensure the migrant workers from different districts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan etc., reaching the Baghanadi border of the state of Chhattisgarh, which is on the border of Rajnandgaon and Maharashtra state, are taken to heir own state’s border. Most of the migrant labourers arriving at the Baghanadi border are from Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, who are going to their home state via Chhattisgarh. The state government is leaving no stone unturned to help the migrant workers. The migrant workers, women and children, who walk barefoot in the burning afternoon on scorching road, are being welcomed by providing tea, breakfast and a Charan paduka. More or less, this arrangement has been ensured by the administration at all checkposts of the state. Free arrangements have been made by the administration so that the labourers of Chhattisgarh who are on the borders of Rangkhar, Chilfi, Korea, Surajpur, Jashpur, Ambikapur, Ramanujganj etc. reach their home district, also the migrant workers of other states reach their state border safely.
The area of Tatibandh, located in the capital Raipur, remains a confluence of migrant workers. Here, Chhattisgarh government has arranged for thousands of migrant labourers from other states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh to complete their two-three-day painful journey in two-three phases. A large number of buses have been arranged to facilitate the movement. Routes have been fixed, through which workers are being sent without any charges to the borders of their states. The officials of the Chhattisgarh government are working in coordination with the officials of the border states to complete this challenging task with utmost seriousness.
The health department has set up a check up center to examine the health of laboueres at all the checkposts of the state as well as the migrant labourers arriving at Tatiband in Raipur. Under the banner of Smart City, arrangements have been made for free food, breakfast and drinking water to the labourers by the District Administration Raipur. Many volunteers, activists of social organizations are also engaged in helping the migrant workers. Food for migrant workers has been arranged by the Tatibandh Gurdwara Management Committee. Activists of many organizations including Samarth Charitable Trust, We the People, Nukkad the Cafe, Mother’s Care Women’s and Children’s Welfare Society are also engaged in serving migrant workers. Hundreds of buses have been arranged by the administration with the help of the Transport Union to send the labourers arriving in Tatibandh to their state and home district. This arrangement of the Government of Chhattisgarh is providing considerable relief to the migrant workers.
The Chhattisgarh government, led by Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel, has also taken an important decision that such migrant labourer families of the state who do not have ration cards will be given five kilograms of foodgrain free of cost in the months of May and June. The government of Chhattisgarh has made free arrangements of trains and buses for the return of the stranded laborers of Chhattisgarh in other states, while the workers of Chhattisgarh who are stranded due to the lockdown in other districts of the state are being safely taken to their home village.