The conditions of migrant workers for the past few months has been consistently deplorable – they’ve received negligible aid, they’ve been ignored by the government, and they’ve been forced to endure unimaginable hardship. We’ve come to expect our governments to cut corners and not provide for the poor, but this has been on another level.
In another example, migrant workers on trains running through UP and Bihar protested that they were not given anything to eat or drink during the journey, or that the food they were given was rotten.
According to Scroll, the special trains arranged by the Centre to take migrants home had squalid conditions, and were delayed for extremely long times.
Workers on a train from Bihar from Visakhapatnam blocked tracks and raised slogans against CM Nitish Kumar after their train was held up for over 10 hours. They had no food, despite paying Rs 1500 for the ticket.
Many complained that they were not even given drinking water.
Hungry and exhausted. They earned their living by working daily till they became destitute.— Marya Shakil (@maryashakil) May 23, 2020
The incident was reported from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Station where migrants alleged that they were not given water after which this happened…. Video from @qazifarazahmad pic.twitter.com/maON4cXaHT
In Unnao passengers of a train smashed windows and threw stones after the train made an unscheduled stop and also provided no food.
There have also been incidents in several other trains where the migrant workers have been given rotten food, no water, and they have complained that there is no water in the toilets either. Lengthy delays have added to their misery.
What they people need is swift and comfortable relief. What they appear to be getting instead is the classic Indian government treatment, where people in the upper echelons eat up resources, take their own cuts, and in turn take away food, shelter, and hope from those who are suffering the most. It’s shameful.