It has come to light that migrant workers who have been stranded ever since the lockdown and been without a source of income, have now been asked to pay for their train fares for returning home. This demand of the government has met with severe criticism and opposition leader, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi said her part would pay for their expenses to show their support.
This demand was considered unfair since most of the tickets cost as high as 800 Rs and a daily wage earner makes only about 200 to 600 rupees a day only and they have seen a long spell of no income since the lockdown.
A question that is being asked is why are the migrants being asked to pay when the Government is making arrangements to fly back stranded Indians from other countries without charging them anything.The migrants were in a very poor plight as most of them were trying to reach their villages on foot ever since the lock down.
The government has clarified its stance by saying that this measure was needed to curb unnecessary travel and restrict it only to those who were truly stranded. The Chairman of the Railway Board VK Yadav said that it would be difficult to screen people if the service was free since it would be difficult to restrict it to students and migrant workers only.Reports and studies compiled by voluntary organisations reveal that the workers do not have proper ration or food to even last them for a day.
The daily wage earners are considered to be the backbone of our economy, and are an estimated 100 million of them but live in extremely poor conditions.The lockdown has created havoc in their lives and displaced them without a source of income far away from their homes.