Odisha: Food and Transit Bus Supported to Migrants Walking on National Highway-16

Berhampur: Migrant workers from different South Indian states, including Andhara Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana apart from Odisha, are seen walking on NH-16 (Chennai to Kolkata) to reach their native village in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, MP, UP, Assam etc., since last 10 days. There has been no work and they lost their livelihood since the lockdown begun, contractors didn’t pay their wage, land lords forced them to vacate due to non payment of rent. There are also women, children, pregnant women and elderly people also seen walking on the road due to non availability of public transport thousands of migrants walk to their village.
To mitigate this hardship of the people on road, Youth for Social Development (YSD), a NGO working with the poor on humanitarian assistance has been supported such poor people. With the support from Oxfam-India YSD has targeted to feed 500 walking migrants every day on the National Highway. Nearly 2000 migrants have received the cooked food, dry food, water in last four days.
These walking migrants have also been provider transit bus support by Youth for Social Development (YSD), Aruna, Isara and Prem in association with DRDA Ganjam including food, drinking water and other essentials. To minimise their efforts to walk up to 100 kilometres from Andhra Pradesh border to the Ganjam-Khurda border and no one should remain hunger are the major objectives and four city and OSRTC buses have been deployed. We have supported more than 3000 walking migrants since last six days of our operation “SUGAM” with the able guidance by project director District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) Ganjam Sri. Siddharth Shankar Swain, APD Laxmi Narayan Panigrahy. Mr. Lokanath Misra of ARUNA, Mr. Bibhu Prasad Sahu of YSD and Mr. Rabindra Nath Patro of ISARA, Ratan Misra of PREM has been closely executing the operation with more than 25 volunteers with protecting them with Covid-19 protocols.