In India, the government has taken the following steps to provide relief to migrant workers:
- On 28th March, the Ministry of Home Affairs had written to all the states, requesting them to set up relief camps for migrant workers, in cities, as well as on highways, including tented accommodation and provisions for medical care.
- On 12th April, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare wrote to all states, asking them to follow directions given by the Supreme Court on issues related to grievances of migrant labourers. Some of the main issues mentioned were:
- Relief camps should have proper facilities for for food, drinking water and sanitation
- Trained counsellors and community leaders should be asked to visit these camps and help the labourers deal with mental health issues
- Police should be asked to deal with migrant labourers in a humane manner
The government has allowed migrant workers to travel back to their hometowns during the lockdown using the Shramik special trains as well as by flight. The Shramik special trains are trains which can be accessed by migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to the lockdown. These special trains run from one the boarding station to the final station(without any stops). Read more here.
Economic Package for Migrant Workers
On 14th May, the government announced certain steps will be taken to help migrant workers, which will be implemented soon. These include:
- Supplying 5 kg of foodgrain per person and 1 kg channa per family per month for two months, for those migrants who don’t have ration cards
- A scheme will be launched under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) to convert government funded housing in cities into affordable rental housing complexes.
- Credit of Rs 5000 will be provided to street vendors through a special scheme, that will be launched in a month.
Measures taken by States
In addition, states have been taking certain measures as well. A few examples are:
- On 26th March, the state of Bihar set up a 100 crore relief fund for migrant workers.
- On 11th April, the state of Jharkhand appointed officials to ensure accommodation, sanitation, and other facilities for Jharkhandi migrants stuck in Delhi.
- On 29th March, the state of Karnataka directed that facilities were to be made available for the transport of labourers working in Mangalore, Karnataka to their respective constituencies in Andhra Pradesh.
- On 26th March, the state of Madhya Pradesh sent out a request to Chief Ministers of other states to provide migrants from this state food, security and shelter. The expenses incurred will be reimbursed by the Madhya Pradesh government.