Coimbatore

Lockdown adds to woes of migrant workers from A.P.

‘Provide monthly rations for them till lockdown is lifted’

Precarity of the next meal, loss of livelihood, and the ever-soaring mercury – the lockdown has added to the list of woes forced upon the families of seasonal migrants living on garbage dump of a plot here in Thirunavukarasar Street in Mookandapalli.

Ever since the lockdown was announced, over eight families of seasonal migrants from Mantralayam in Andhra Pradesh are tied down in their makeshift plastic huts in Mookandapalli. The migrant workers have been seasonally migrating between Hosur and Mantralayam, once every six months for work. This summer, just in time for their return back to their homes the lockdown was declared.

Until then, they were engaged in construction work, under a Dharmapuri-based contractor. If the lockdown has hit their livelihood and travel, the sweltering heat has made their living conditions under the heat-locking plastic camps unbearable.

The families had gone hungry since the lockdown, until the Democratic Youth Federation of India was alerted to their plight by Jyothiappa, secretary of CITU. Since Saturday, Vignesh, DYFI’s vice-president for Hosur with the help of Amma canteen has been delivering them food three times a day.

“However, it is still a better solution to provide monthly rations for them till the lockdown is lifted,” says Sridharan, Hosur secretary of DYFI. They could cook their own meal.

Their job contractor, who gave them construction work has gone back to Dharmapuri. “He is not available or else, we would have taken advances to buy groceries,” says Bhima, who lives with his mother, wife and two children.

Even as the precarity of the next meal was addressed by DYFI, the strain is felt by the volunteers as well.

“The heat is unbearable,” says Sujatha, pointing to the pile of sheets erected up to house them. Usually, they live and sleep inside the buildings they help build. “We sleep in the buildings till the construction is over, and then head back to our native,” says Mr. Bhima.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:26:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/lockdown-adds-to-woes-of-migrant-workers-from-ap/article31274331.ece

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