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India Covid 19 Crisis & Lockdown: 42 Unions and NGOs Demand Safe Passage For Migrant Labourers Returning to West Bengal

5 May

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Letter from Right to Food and Work campaign to the State official in West Bengal seeking safe return of migrant workers.

[Covid 19 Lockdown Crisis] On the return of migrant labourers of our state - Letter from The Right to Food and Work Campaign West Bengal
4 May 2020

List of 9090 Migrant Workers Submitted

It is estimated that about 12 lakh workers from West Bengal are working in other states. Kerala alone is supposed to be housing 6 lakhs. Yet the State Government has arranged for two trains only (of which only one is from Kerala) and a few hundred buses. The Central Government has completely washed its hands off the matter. It has already been 40 days since the nationwide lockdown has been announced, with the woes of the stranded migrant labourers increasing with each passing day. Today, 42 trade unions, people’s organisations and NGOs got together to issue letters to the West Bengal Chief Minister and Prime Minister asking for safe return of the workers. Their main demands are that the transportation arrangements need to be increased manifold immediately to bring workers back. The expenses for the return journey of the migrant labourers from other states to their homes by special trains and other transport, including food and water during the journey, should be met by the Central and State Governments, as migrants have no resources at all at the moment. Workers should be registered for the journey through simple processes. The letter also asks for mandatory health check-ups, well-equipped quarantine and isolations facilities. A ‘Sneher Paras’ desk should be made available in the station premises to all returnees to facilitate immediate registration for the one-time assistance to migrant labourers. Interdistrict transportation for stranded labourers within the state should also be arranged through state-owned transport corporations. Since the beginning of the COVID and lockdown crisis, several organisations who are signatories to this statement have also set up helplines for migrant workers and have supported 9090 workers in various ways through these helplines. A compiled list of these 9090 labourers from West Bengal who are stranded in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharasthra, Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana and other places is being sent to the authorities with the demand to arrange for their transport, quarantine and one-time aid under Sneher Parash.


2. Aiyni Sahayata-O-Sramik Krishak Kalyan Kendra
3. Association of Bengal Collaborators for Development
4. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
5. Basirhat Thana Itbhata Sramik Karmachari Union
6. Durbar Disha Mahila Grihasramik Samanway Sangothon
7. Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee
8. Gitaldaha Bikas Samiti
9. Health Service Association, West Bengal
10. Hosiery Worker’s Unity Centre
11. Hridaypur Srija
12. Human Life Development & Research Center
13. Human Rights Law Network
14. Islampur Ramkrishnapally Rural Welfare Society
15. Joint Platform of Health
16. Madhyamgram Nutan Pather Disha
17. Maheswarpur Nabarun Club
18. Malda Sahayogita Samiti
19. Mukto Kantho Mahila Samity
20. Narayan Integrated Development Society
21. Nari o Shishu Kalyan Kendra
22. NTUI
23. Ossonghothitho Khetra Sramik Sangrami Mancha (Struggle Forum for Informal Sector Workers)
24. Pally Samaj Gram Unnayan Samity
25. Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity
26. Project Affected People’s Association
27. Sampurna Nari Kalyan Samity
28. Samsia Rural Health and Economic Development Society
29. SEWA Bharat
30. Shripur Mahila-O-Khadi Unnayan Samity
31. South Kolkata Sannidhya
32. Sramajibi Mahila Samity
33. Sramajibi Samanway Committee
33. Shramajibi Swasthya Udyog
34. Sutanutir Sakhya
35. Swayam
36. TUCI
37. Tribes Right Protection Cell
38. Udayani Social Action Forum
39. Uttar Bangal Chai Mazdoor Adhikar Manch
40. Uttar Dinajpur Sangrami Biri Sramik Union
41. Young Bengal