The Narendra Modi government has informed the Parliament that it does not have any data regarding the number of migrants who died or were injured during migration to their native places due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown across the country.
According to reports, Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, speaking in the Lok Sabha on Monday, said, ”No such data is available.”
The Union Minister said this in a written reply to a question asked by BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab on the “the number of such labourers died/ injured during migration to their native places due to such lockdown, State/ UT-wise”.
A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus infections.
There was an exodus of a large number of migrant workers to their native places from different parts of the country during the lockdown. The lockdown restrictions were eased from late May.
Mahtab also asked whether the government has taken adequate measures to safeguard social, economic, legal and health rights of migrant labourers before implementing lockdown in the country due to COVID-19.
“India, as a nation, has responded through the central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, resident welfare associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as a large number of genuine and bonafide non-governmental organizations in the nation’s fight against the unprecedented humanitarian crisis due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and country-wide lockdown,” the Minister said in his reply.
In order to mitigate the financial crisis of migrant workers and protect them against the economic disruptions due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the country-wide lockdown, the central government has taken numerous measures to provide them financial assistance, food packages and other benefits, the Minister said.