Headlines May 18, 2020
High courts tell states to help migrants get home
On a day when the Supreme Court said that dealing with migrant workers on the roads was the problem of the states and that it couldn’t do anything about it, high courts across India issued directions to states on dealing with them. Many migrants have lost their jobs because of the lockdown to fight the spread of Covid-19, and are struggling to get back home.
The Andhra Pradesh high court issued a range of directions to government officials to reduce the sufferings migrants are facing on the road. Hearing a public interest litigation, the court said that migrant workers had left their homes and moved to cities for their livelihood and their that struggle helped ensure others led a comfortable life.
In an order, the bench said, “They deserve more help particularly when they are trekking back with their heads held high instead of living at someone’s mercy ..If at this stage, the court does not react and pass orders, it would be failing in its role as a protector and alleviator of the suffering”.
The court said that outpost centres established should be stocked with adequate stock of good drinking water, dehydration salts and glucose packets which should be supplied to migrant labourers who are walking. It also asked the state to arrange temporary toilets and sanitary pad dispensing machines.
The court also ordered the National Highways Authority of India and the police department to use their patrol vehicles to pick up and transport migrant labourers who are facing difficulties in getting to the nearest shelter.
The Madras High Court also passed directions to the state and central governments after taking note of the conditions of migrant workers.
One cannot control their tears after seeing the pathetic condition of migrant labourers shown in the media for the last month. It is nothing but a human tragedy. – Madras High Court
Earlier the Gujarat High Court took suo motu cognizance of various newspaper reports about the difficulties faced by migrant workers and issued directions to the state government to come up with a concrete plan to tackle the issue. So did the Karnataka High Court, which ordered the state and central governments to come up with a solution so that migrant workers are not stranded without help.
On Friday, the Supreme Court decided not to hear cases relating to the plight of migrant workers. “How can we stop people from walking? It is impossible for this court to monitor who is walking and who is not walking”.
Watch in Sign Language
Support us to make NewzHook Sustainable – Make a Contribution Today
We need your continued support to enable us work towards Changing Attitudes towards Disability. Help us in our attempt to share the voices of people with disabilities that enable them to participate in the society on an equal footing!