Migrant labourers from Karnataka left to fend for themselves

Brought by a contractor to work on a road project, they now find themselves without work or food

Updated - March 29, 2020 09:55 pm IST

Published - March 29, 2020 09:54 pm IST - KARIMNAGAR

Migrant labourers from Karnataka being given food packets by philanthropists at the Satavahana University campus in Karimnagar on Sunday.

Migrant labourers from Karnataka being given food packets by philanthropists at the Satavahana University campus in Karimnagar on Sunday.

Around 40 migrant labourers, including eight children and an eight-month-old pregnant woman from Gulbarga of neighbouring Karnataka state, are a worried lot following the lockdown since last one week.

They could neither secure employment nor go back to their native places and are struggling hard to eke out a living, with little left as savings. Following the lockdown and curfew, they are unable to come out of their makeshift dingy huts fearing police wrath and starving for food along with their children.

These migrants are appealing to the district authorities to provide them some transport so that they can reach their villages in Karnataka State adjoining Kodangal and Tandur in Telangana State. “At least leave us in Hyderabad city so that we can walk to our villages and live safely. We are unable to live in this place because of lockdown and curfew. Especially with the outbreak of COVID-19 virus in the town, we are fearing the spread of virus,” the migrants stated.

Some three months ago, the labourers from Gulbarga district were hired by a contractor and had arrived at Satavahana University on the outskirts to work for laying internal roads in the campus. All was well until the government announced Janata Curfew and subsequently lockdown for 21 days. Later, the contractor left them at the campus by providing their wages.

The labourer community planned to go out of the university but in vain following police restrictions and curfew. An eight-month-old pregnant woman Prabhavathi was unable to go out for medical check-up at the government hospital following the curfew. The children including one-year toddler to 10 years are struggling hard in the dingy huts without ventilation and scared of contracting the virus.

When their plight had come to the notice of this correspondent, they were provided food with the support of a philanthropist Saikrishna Reddy on Sunday. Sharanappa, one of the migrant labourers, appealed to the government to help them reach their native village. “We are scared of the outbreak of the deadly virus and want to be in our own villages,” he stated.

When contacted, Collector K Shashanka said that they would instruct the contractor to provide all the necessary facilities to the migrant labourers during the lockdown period. If he fails to do so, they would take action against him, he said and added that they would provide proper shelter, ration or food to the migrant labourers till the completion of lockdown.

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