During the Parliament’s ongoing monsoon session, the Central government informed that there is no data to determine how many migrant workers lost their lives because of the sudden nationwide lockdown that was enforced on March 25 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to HT, around 10 million migrant workers left the cities and had to return to their villages and towns because of the nationwide lockdown.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment in its reply to a question, seeking details of the number of migrant workers’ deaths and the compensation offered to them said, “no such data is available”.
The labour ministry added that the question of compensation does not arise in the absence of data on the number of death due to the lockdown.
The government also said that it maintained no data on the job loss due to the pandemic.
Asked if the government had failed to assess the issues faced by these labourers, the Centre said: “India, as a nation, has responded through the Central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, Resident Welfare Associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as large number of genuine and bonafide non-governmental organizations in the Nation’s fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of Covid – 19 and country-wide lockdown, including Tamil Nadu.”
However, the labour ministry added that it is making efforts to mitigate the hardships of the migrant workers. It said, “In order to mitigate the financial crisis of the migrant workers and protect them against the economic disruptions due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and country-wide lockdown, the Central Government has taken numerous measures to provide them financial assistance, food packages, ration and other benefits,”
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine