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Ggm’s workers quit city despite free food, camps

March 29, 2020 05:46 AM


Ggm’s workers quit city despite free food, camps

Workers, carrying their belongings, walk to Delhi. Yogendra Kumar/HT
Abhishek Behl

Gurugram : The district administration on Saturday set up four shelter homes, where free food and shelter are being made available to migrant workers who are walking towards Delhi to the north and Rajasthan to the south of Gurugram to reach home in these states, or those beyond them. The deputy commissioner of Gurugram had appealed to the workers, who are either on the roads or planning to leave the city, to stay at these camps in Manesar, Bhondsi, Bhim Nagar and Qadipur, due to the lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. The appeal seems to have had little effect as some migrant workers HT spoke with said they did not know about the arrangements. Others said staying in shelters wasn’t a solution, adding that they’d rather be home with their loved ones in this difficult time.

“We appeal to the workers not to leave the city as arrangements for food, shelter and other essentials have been made available at these relief camps. One such camp was set up on Friday, immediately after the chief minister issued directions in this regard,” he said, adding that relief camp was shifted to Manesar, near the highway, to make it more accessible.

However, the measures taken by the district administration seemed to have little effect, who preferred to walk to Anand Vihar to avail of the bus facility made available by the Uttar Pradesh government. The yearning to go home and be with their families was a common theme among migrant workers, who are struggling to come to terms with the lockdown and unemployment.

Officials said that workers, who insisted on walking to Delhi, were given food, water and other essentials, and also motivated to stay in the shelters.

Gurgaon’s member of Parliament (MP), Rao Inderjit Singh, who has been designated as the in-charge to oversee Covid-19 measures in the district, also exhorted the administration and other stakeholders to reach out to migrant workers and motivate them not to leave the city. “I have asked the officials to ensure that essential materials and services are made available to these workers so that they don’t leave. This city is their home and they must be reassured of all support,” said Singh.

Workers, of Gorakhpur, Hardoi, Budaun and Aligarh in UP, said that it would be difficult to survive in the city as there is no work. A large number of workers were seen at Rajiv Chowk and Iffco Chowk, waiting for transport.

Bhuar Ali, a resident of a village near Gorakhpur in UP, said that he and six others are going to Anand Vihar as he is apprehensive of exhausting his savings. “We work as painters. Since the lockdown, there is no work available. I fear that in the coming days, we will have nothing to eat and so, want to reach our homes at the earliest,” he said.

A large group of workers, of Jhansi in UP, said that they are waiting at Rajiv Chowk for transport, but will walk to their destination if they cannot find one. “The government should provide vehicles to ferry migrant workers to their home states,” said Madan Lal, who works in Udyog Vihar

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