As the lockdown had begun it left millions of labourer’s jobless, hopeless and in deprivation and famishes.
We know since the outbreak of pandemic has hit people across the country, this time it had impacted the grassroots levels of the society. Several workers, who survive on a daily wage, are migrating for fear of starvation or being evicted from their homes.
 With the amid lockdown, during this on-going COVID-19 crisis to curb this situation has mostly affected the lives of daily wage workers in the Indian capital region revolve around long lines and uncertainty over their next meal.
Following the announcement of lockdown by the Prime Minister NarendraModi for a nationwide lockdown to fight the novel coronavirus , with this it has led to a major effect on the migrant labourers who travelled to Delhi from nearby states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to seek ameliorate employment opportunities for themselves and their families.
Aftermath the chaos created by the migrants to let them go back, the centre government along with the state governments in consonance with them decide to start the “ special train” , Shramik train which was used along with guidelines to travel back all the migrant labourers , workers, students back to their homeland .
But as this operation started it was enthusiasm amongst the migrant labourers to go back home, nevertheless, a painful tragedy happened after week of train started in outskirts of the Aurangabad where 15 migrant labourers had slept on the rail tracks and where over run by the train killing all the migrant labourers.
The news of fifteen migrant workers were mowed down by a goods train in Aurangabad, Maharashtra has put the spotlight back on the plights of these migrant workers who casualty of India’s COVID-19 response.
The concrete and tangible incident took place 5.15 A.M., these workers who were walking to Bhusawal from Jalana to board a “ ShramikSpecial Train”to travel back to Madhya Pradesh . All these were 20 workers in a cluster walking by foot from Jalna to Bhusawal , which is about 150 Km’s . They clogged after walking for About 45 kilometres for some rest and fell asleep or slumbered, at around at 5.15 A.M. a goods train ran over them. Sixteen migrant workers were scythed down by an empty freight train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district in the early hours of Friday. While 14 of them died on the spot, two of them later succumbed to injuries.
The mishap occurred between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Nanded division. The unfilled and vacant train had departed from cherlapally station near Hyderabad to Panewadi station near Manmad in Nashik. The motormen tried to bring the train to a halt but failed to do so, an official said.
The Loco pilot spotted and discovered that there were some people along the tracks. He honked and also tried to stop the train but failed to contain the speed before thrashing those lying on the tracks.
However, it is an anguished moment for everyone, since this incident has taken place by actually taking away the lives of innocent, which were just
This incident has showed us the harrowing images of these labourers walking hundreds of kilometres on foot of their villages owing to the lack of food, shelter and money has caused mass exodus.
Sadly it takes pandemics like coronavirus to render visible the deep inequalities embedded in our society.
Furthermore, in our outlooks, it’s not a planned measure to protect these migrant workers. The idea of walking on the railway tracks stemmed from two factors : once can avoid being roughed up at the police checks posts on the road, and they were in thought that since no trains were running due to the lockdown situation .
This incident throws the light how there is still gender inequality, discrimination and class divide is been coming into the spotlight, even after these people had registered their names, it was not confirmed will they be sent back to their homes.
One of the men was working at an iron factory in Mahrashtra’sJalna and was planning to walk to Bhuswal to catch the shramik train to reach back to Madhya Pradesh.
Likewise, it throws light even after the arrangement’s made by the government, we as society failed to take their needs in consideration, even aftermath the appeal by our Own PM to pay back these wage workers, the employees did not pay these wage workers their salary, leaving them in Hunger and no security without jobs, they had no food to eat.
It shows up, that somewhere both the state and centre government failed to provide necessary protection or relief to these migrant works, may there have been class divide, where these labourers were not provided the relief belonging from socio-economic lower backgrounds; these labourers go through many challenges and adversities in terms of belonging from weaker sections of the society.
With this NHRC on Friday issued notices to the Maharashtra chief secretary and Aurangabad district magistrate after a cargo train ran over migrant labourers and killed at least 16 of them
The human rights panel has taken suomotu awareness of media reports of the incident. Walking back to their home from Jalna in Maharashtra to Bhusawal in Madhya Pradesh, the migrants had fallen asleep on the track. The crash took place at 5.15 am near Karmad, some 30 km from Aurangabad, with four employees remaining.
Within four weeks, the commission directed officers to send a detailed report on the incident. “It should also include details of the measures taken by the state and district authorities to provide the poor people with food, shelter and other basic amenities, particularly migrant labourers, who face severe difficulties from every angle,” the NHRC said in a statement.“The details of the relief and rehabilitation provided to the victim labourers and their dependents along with status of the medical treatment provided to the injured are also required to be given in the report.”
However, the railway said it’s a trespassing that these migrant workers did,Apparently, the affected persons had gathered along the track under the impression that the train services have been suspended due to Covid-19 lockdown. Furthermore, false sense of security may have come to their minds about there being no trains on run whereas freight, parcel specials have been running from before and now migrant specials have also started playing,” he wrote.
According to this statement its wrong, however it was not even confirmed, that even these migrant labourers able to board the train to travel back their homes, the railway officials planned to put the ex-gratia, in this case these migrant workers were not given relief, there is class divide because they did if they go by road the police post will end up stopping them and not letting them move, or might beat them up
In the spotlight of as society, we failed to provide them with the proper and adequate relief they deserved and were need. We still went on to doing discrimination against them, despite they belonged to poor backgrounds and communities and not supporting their needs.
We failed to provide them with their wages, even after the appeal by the PM, we discriminated them on class, gender, caste and religion they belong to and spreading dislike amongst the society.
IN MY OPINION
According to my insights and outlooks, the government has lacked in providing the adequate relief to these migrant workers and labourers, these labourers has passed through categorically challenging and adverse times, leaving them jobless and in with gowning stomach.
Even if these special trains were started to bring back their migrant workers, the government failed to provide them with adequate necessities,
After a while, the trains had started soon to that many states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, west Bengal and Kerala had cancelled which led to the pandemonium , chaos and uproar of voices amongst them ,it began to merge out to be agitated and distressed of not reaching back to their home towns.
They were asked to pay or bear cost of their fare of the tickets on their own, they were not supported appropriately until the congress party came into the picture for bearing their fare of the tickets on their behalf.
In compliance to this, as society we were not clogging ourselves from doing class divide or creating the gender inequality through discrimination, we also lacked in supporting and assisting these migrant workers, may be not providing any kind of shelter or a place to live. In this hall of tranquillity, they were left alone without any support.
“We had registered two-three days ago (for the special trains to go back home), but didn’t get called. Ghar par bhikaamtha, tohkyakarte, nikalgaye (We were needed at home, so we left,” said 25-year old Shivbhan Singh. – one of these status shows that even these migrant labourers had registered themselves for going back home.’’
The authorities or agencies which were given the duty or responsibility and were obliged to take their concern for assisting them for travelling them back to their homes, as they were registered on the list for the special trains, but the agencies failed to do their responsibility, they are held to be accountable for frivolously and flippantly took their duties and are still not being held accountable.
Amid a tremendous for working towards the migrant workers, this step should also be taken by other states, planning and preparing measure to bring the labours and workers working in different states, should be brought back to their state of origin.
These measures needs to be taken to ensure the labourers and workers are fine and sent back to their homes.
The government should have taken adequate measures to curb the situation in reality. They would have planned with some sort of assistance and have appropriate steps to insure that the migrant workers get financial help or have either begun the train services for at least 24 hours so that they can enter their native lands.
Article Written By-Sakshi Mehta