( By Ukkash F)

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court by Advocate Nachiketa Vajpayee; for giving directions to the Central government to provide the necessary assistance to migrant workers, such as shelter, food, medical facilities and transport; in this ongoing pandemic. 

Also, he urges the Centre to submit a status report vis-a-vis migrant workers across the country, as was directed by the Court in its order of March 31 in the case of Alakh Alok Srivastava vs Union of India. He Claims that the Fundamental rights of the migrant workers are grossly violated and the efforts taken by the Central government are inappropriate. The very purpose of the orders given by the Central government stands defeated since thousands of migrant workers gathered at Railway stations, Bus stops seeking relief from the authorities.

Moreover, the petition highlights the difficulties faced by migrants in their long and arduous journey back home. In addition, there have been families who have lost their lives sleeping on the railway tracks since they have no shelter. The petitioner says that in various States such as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana the situation has gone out of control with blatant violations of the precautionary measures directed to be taken by the Central government. 

The plight of the workers has been highlighted and also NHRC has noted:

“The said migrant workers comprise of aged people, children and women who are facing severe hardships every day as they have no source of income, no basic survival amenities such as food, shelter and no medical support”.

However, the petitioner also put forward other steps to tackle the situation such as setting up “social monitoring committees” which could be dedicated to provide district-level assistance to migrant workers. For day-to-day wage workers and migrants, the situation has worsened since it remains unchanged. The migrants’ journey has become a nightmare.