Support for labourers affected by COVID lockdown: Holding state bodies accountable

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A Centre for Social Justice petition to State Governments:

The sudden lockdown announced by the central government has put thousands of people at risk. Ground reports from around the country (specifically Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat) show that migrant labourers are stranded in towns and cities without adequate shelter or food and unable to return home. Multiple instances of labourers returning by foot have also been reported. Labourers who have managed to return are being denied entry into their villages to stop the spread of corona virus.

While the state has taken some positive steps (specifically in Raipur and Raigarh, Chhattisgarh and Gumla, Jharkhand where the state has provided food and shelter), the response overall has been ad hoc and highly inadequate. In most cases, civil society organisations are providing whatever assistance they can.

Please sign this petition to activate state bodies responsible for providing relief to affected people under the Disaster Management Act 2005 and other similar state instruments.

Our demands to State Governments are as follows:

1) Convert schools/other appropriate spaces into shelters for labourers and tie up with local charities and religious organisations to provide food.

2) Where possible, provide for safe return of labourers to their home villages and convert schools/panchayat bhawans into 14-day quarantine facilities. Engage with local women’s Self Help Groups/Anganwadis to provide food to the labourers

3) Activate the DLSA Disaster Management and Unorganised Workers Schemes and engage DLSA Paralegals to coordinate assistance / relief measures for stranded/returned labourers.

4) Activate state and district level helplines for labourers in distress.

5) Engage with local NGOs who have a strong understanding of relief response to assist in relief measures.

Click HERE to sign the petition


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