Headlines September 16, 2020
Center to not provide compensation for migrant deaths
India’s migrant workers were one of the worst affected by the nation-wide lockdown that began on 24 March. According to reports, more than 200 migrant workers died while trying to travel to their homes, most of them by walking, due to lack of public transport. On Tuesday, at the monsoon parliament session, the union labor ministry informed that they do not have data of those who had lost their lives or jobs during the lockown period. Hence, their families will not receive a compensation. This triggered anger and criticism from opposition parties.
“The Modi government does not know how many migrant labourers died and how many jobs were lost during the lockdown. If you haven’t counted, have the deaths not taken place? It is sad that there has been no impact on the government. The world has seen their deaths. There is a Modi government which has no information”, tweeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
According to the ministry, more than 1 crore migrant workers had tried to return back to their homes after they lost jobs during lockdown. Most of them set to their villages by foot along with their families comprising of toddlers and elderly people. Many died before they could reach their home towns. Though central government arranged special Sharmik trains and buses, it was not enough to carry the huge numbers.
The top states that reported road crash deaths of migrant workers are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
“Utter callousness- Centre doesn’t care about deaths of migrant workers they caused by pushing them in to trains, makeshift carts and on foot to the distant homes. At least acknowledge tentative and incomplete data of rail Sharmik Trains and road accidents #migrantslivesmatter”, tweeted Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac.
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