Death of a Migrant worker due to hunger
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh after taking suo motu cognizance of a media report that 19-year-old migrant worker Vipin Kumar, died in Saharanpur due to hunger after walking six days covering 350 kilometres from Ludhiana. He was headed for his home in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh.
The report sought from the State Government in four weeks is expected to provide details about the present status of the migrant labourers of Uttar Pradesh stuck in different states, who are willing to come back to their native places in and the steps being taken to ensure their smooth journey back home.
Describing Vipin’s death as a serious issue of human rights violation, the Commission has observed that it is not the first time that it has come across such an incident relating to painful conditions of the migrant labourers, their illness, delivery of babies on roads and their deaths during their journey back home in the wake of Corona lockdown.
It further observed that there are media reports that the Government of Uttar Pradesh has directed to provide shaded shelter, food and drinking water to the migrant labourers at toll plazas on national highways and in the buses they will travel. However, it seems that the announcements made by government agencies are not being implemented on the ground due to which the migrant labourers are still suffering.
According to the media report, Vipin Kumar used to work at a shop in Ludhiana. He had embarked on a long journey to his home in Sursa, Hardoi on foot on 12th May, 2020. But walking continuously for six days without food and covering over 350 kilometres, he fell on the road near Saharanpur. An ambulance spotted him lying on the road and shifted him to a district hospital. But he could not be saved. Doctors said he died of hunger.
Reportedly, the victim, Vipin had informed his family on 12th May, 2020 that he was returning home. His father, as mentioned in the news report, stated that Vipin had no other option but to walk down home as the government transport, for which he was waiting for long, was not practically available for journey.
It is further mentioned in the media report that the family had received a phone call from the hospital from Saharanpur about the ill condition of Vipin and the next day, they received a phone call from the Meerut Hospital that he had died due to hunger. The villagers have reportedly collected the money for the family so that they could bring body of the deceased to his home.
National Human Rights Commission
[Press Release dt. 27-05-2020]