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Migrants' headaches far from over

MUMBAI: The government finally seems to have woken up to the innumerable problems being faced by migrant labour marching to their homes in different States.

Post the series of lockdowns, crisis erupted in Delhi, Mumbai Surat and several other cities as migrant labour came out on the roads. The labour faced police lathis at several places and some of them tried to take detour to escape the police surveillance on the highways.

The latest in the crisis is the death of 16 migrants on railway tracks near Aurangabad.

As the nation was debating as to when how the government will facilitate the smooth return of the migrants, the Railway ministry announced the running of 15 trains between select cities.

Now, the Home Ministry has written to all States/UTs to prevent migrant workers to resort to walking on road and on railway tracks to reach their native places. It was emphasized that ‘Shramik’ special trains and buses have already been allowed to enable their travel, an official announcement said.

The Home ministry asked the State governments to facilitate the migrants to board the ‘Shramik’ special trains or buses to their native places and till that time the migrants may be counselled and taken to nearby shelters.

The announcement does not specify as to who will bear the cost of travel as we come across reports that each passenger has to have a ticket to board the special trains.

The problems of migrant labours do not seem to end as we see many, many of them on the highways walking with torn footweat, blisters on their feet bearing the hot sun with only aim – to reach home.

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