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Published On: Tue, Sep 15th, 2020

No data on migrant deaths, therefore “no question of” compensation.

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death-1NEW DELHI : The mass Migration movement of migrants after the country went into lockdown in March to fight the coronavirus was because of “fake news”, the government said in parliament today, delivering a new shocker a day after saying there was no data on migrant deaths, therefore “no question of” compensation.Migrents2
There didn’t seem to be even a flicker of remorse, as the Modi government declined to pay compensation for migrant deaths and/or job losses because of COVID-19 on the plea that it had no data for either.
In response to a written question in Parliament, the union labour ministry shrugged off all responsibility for the misery that more than 1 crore migrant workers went through after the Centre unilaterally shut down the country on 24 March, with just four hours notice, ostensibly to ‘control the spread’ of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The question (of compensation) does not arise,’’ the ministry said, as “no such data (on deaths and job losses) is maintained.”
Meanwhile, Former congress President Rahul Gandhi on hit out at the BJP government for its mismanagement of the migrant crisis during the lockdown. The Congress leader said that the Modi government does not know the number of migrant workers who died during the lock down and how many jobs were lost.
The attack came after the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment on Monday, 14 September, told the Parliament that it has no data available on the number of migrant workers who lost their lives during the nationwide lock down, imposed in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.migrents 3
“If you didn’t count, does it mean that people didn’t die? Yes, but it is unfortunate that there was no impact on the government. The world saw them dying but the Modi government remained clueless,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The Home Ministry was responding to a written question by Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy on steps taken to protect migrant labourers before the lockdown was announced on March 25, the reasons why thousands of laborers ended up walking home and the number of migrants laborers who died on their journey home.
“The migration of large number of migrant workers was triggered by panic created by fake news regarding duration of lockdown, and people, especially migrant labourers, were worried about adequate supply of basic necessities like food, drinking water, health services and shelter,” replied Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai.

“However, the central government was fully conscious of this, and took all necessary measures to ensure that during the period of the inevitable lock down, no citizen should be deprived of basic amenities of food, drinking water, medical facilities etc,” the minister told Lok Sabha.
According to MoS Home , the centre “allowed the state governments to use the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) on 28th March itself” for providing temporary accommodation, food, clothing, medical care, etc., to homeless people as well as migrant workers.
To augment the funds with the states, the Centre released an advance Rs.11, 092 crores from the state disaster funds to states on April 3, Mr Rai said. On migrant deaths, he replied that those details were “not centrally maintained”.

According to report Nearly 200 migrant workers died in road accidents in India while returning to their village homes during the world’s longest coronavirus lockdown, a charity said on Tuesday.
Tens of thousands of people walked home from India’s big cities after losing their jobs when one of the world’s strictest lockdowns was introduced and all public transport was suspended to contain the spread of the new coronavirus in late March.
More than 1,400 road accidents killed 750 people, including 198 migrant workers, between March 25 and May 31, according to the SaveLIFE Foundation, a charity that works towards improving road safety and emergency care in India.
Thousands of workers leaving various states after losing their jobs and homes in the nationwide shutdown were compared by many to the tragic scenes of mass exodus after the Partition of 1947.
With no money or food to feed their families, migrant workers started on foot for their hometowns hundreds of kilometres away. Many died on the brutal journey home. The opposition accused the government of imposing a lockdown without a plan for the poorest and those who lost their daily earnings.(With Agency Inputs ).

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