A nationwide lockdown was imposed on 25th March, 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19. This resulted in shutdown of public transport services and subsequently significant numbers of migrant labors were stranded in various parts of the country. The Legal and Social Services Committee (LSSC) in collaboration with the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) since 5th May, 2020 is working towards providing relief to the migrant workers from the State of Chhattisgarh. The objective of the collaboration is to address the issues faced by them with respect to food, shelter and conveyance to travel back to their home state.
A team of LSSC, HNLU was formed under the guidance of Prof. Dr. V.C. Vivekanandan, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor HNLU in consultation with Dr. Balwinder Kaur, Faculty Coordinator LSSC. Since then an 11 member team comprising of Ananya Pandey, Aditya Pandey, Simran Dhaner, Shubham Jindal, Shantam Patil, Varshunn Bhan, Ramesh Choudhary, Moulik Shrivastava, Vibhuti Deshmunkh, Prakash Patle and headed by Shailendra Singh Yadav, Convenor, Legal and Social Services Committee has been working proactively with a team of Center for Social Justice to make this possible.
With the help of CSJ a detailed database of 8000 migrant workers from Chhattisgarh was prepared. Within the first few days the team contacted the migrant workers stuck in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal and collected all the information required to be filled in the registration form released by the Chhattisgarh Government. Eventually they were all registered with the state government and an acknowledgement of the registration was sent to all the migrant workers for future reference.
As soon as the State Government started announcing the “Special Shramik Trains” all the migrants were contacted and informed about the same. Those who were far off from the place of boarding the trains were brought to the stations from where they could easily board their trains. The team coordinated with a number of NGOs, local contacts and nodal officers appointed by the State Government and ensured smooth transportation for them and arranged for their food and other essentials.
In yet another case the team came in contact with people stuck in Bangalore. Upon learning about their situation a funding drive was carried out by our friends in Bangalore and they arranged 100kg rice, 25kg dal, Sanitary Napkins for women and biscuits for children.
Special mention must be made of the team comprising of Mr. Santosh Kumar Pradhan, Ms. Anahita Surya, Ms. Garima Bisen, Mrs. Gayatri, Mrs. Divya and Mr. Shobharam from CSJ.