The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about a mother pulling a suitcase with her small child sleeping half hung on it on Agra Highway.
Reportedly, the migrant woman was walking all the way from somewhere in Punjab to Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh till she caught the attention of the media persons.
The Commission has observed that it is aware of the unprecedented situation and that the Central and the State governments are working sincerely to address every issue coming up during the lockdown but it is strange that the pain of the child and the family could be seen and felt by many enroute, except the local authorities. Had the local authorities been vigilant, some relief could immediately be provided to the aggrieved family and others facing the similar hardships.
The incident amounts to violation of human rights and requires intervention by the NHRC.
Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and the District Magistrate, Agra, Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report within four weeks in the matter including the action taken against the responsible officers/ officials and relief/ assistance provided to the victim families.
The Commission has further observed that several news reports about miseries of people have come to its notice during the lockdown forcing it to intervene in order to sensitize the Central and the State authorities to deal with the situation with an approach of respect to human rights of the public at large, particularly the vulnerable sections of the society. However, media reports suggest continuing sufferings of the people, particularly the migrant labourers, whose journey long, is not coming to a halt.
Referring to yet another reported incident of apathy of public authorities and its suo motu cognizance of the matter wherein a female migrant labourer delivered her baby on road and continued her journey within two hours after that on way to Madhya Pradesh from Maharashtra, the Commission observed that such incidents only indicate towards carelessness and inappropriate approach of the local public authorities who do not bother to come forward to see the reality at the ground.
National Human Rights Commission
Press Release dt. 16-05-2020