Do not leave Delhi, Kejriwal appeals to migrant workers

Chief Minister says govt. has made necessary arrangements for food and shelter

March 29, 2020 11:38 pm | Updated 11:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Migrant workers  on their way to board a bus during a complete lockdown against the spread of COVID-19 outbreak  at Anand Vihar in the city,  on Sunday.

Migrant workers on their way to board a bus during a complete lockdown against the spread of COVID-19 outbreak at Anand Vihar in the city, on Sunday.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday appealed to migrant workers trying to return to their villages to remain in Delhi and assured them that his government has made all necessary arrangements for their food and shelter.

“We have emptied classrooms and put mattresses on the floor and will even provide accommodation at stadiums if the need arises. But now, despite several appeals, these classrooms are lying empty,” he said, adding that “stay where you are” is the mantra of the lockdown and that we would fail as a county if we do not follow it.

Risking lives

He told migrant workers that so far, COVID-19 has not spread to the villages and warned them that if they head home, they would not only put their lives at risk but also of their family members.

“Yesterday [Saturday] there were large crowds at Anand Vihar Bus depot...even if one or two persons in that crowd had the virus, all those present there would be in danger. We asked people that there were three schools nearby where they could take shelter but they were adamant to leave the city,” Mr. Kejriwal added.

He said the government has made arrangements to provide free food to four lakh people daily as well as distribute 50% extra ration for free to ensure that nobody is hungry. He also appealed to people who are financially well-to-do to ensure that others do not stay hungry.

‘Rise above politics’

He requested landlordsnot to charge money from their tenants if they were unable to pay rent.

“This is the time for humanity. Our entire life we spend earning money and fame but none of this will matter when we die. What will matter is what we have done for others. We must all help each other,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

He added that it was not the time to indulge in politics but for all parties to work together for people before the country reaches a situation like the one in Italy or the U.S. where thousands of COVID-19 cases have been reported.

The Chief Minister concluded his press conference by saying that there are 18 chapters in Bhagvad Gita and there are 18 days of the lockdown left. He asked people to spend half an hour reading a chapter daily and said he was doing the same at home.

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