Momentous exodus presents contrasting picture in charity

In what was a momentous event of a two-month-long migrant worker exodus from southern States, charity presented itself in a contrasting picture. While the civil society took part in a big way in providing succour to woe begone workers on to the NH44 passing through former united Adilabad district, the politicians were missing as they had restricted themselves to help the poor people in towns and villages who constituted their electorate.

There were exceptions like Bharatiya Janata Party State executive committee member C. Suhasini Reddy who came onto the highway and served food to the hungry and tired migrant labourers for about a week at the beginning of this month. From the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi it was Kagaznagar MLA Koneru Konappa, Mancherial MLA N. Diwakar Rao and MLC Puranam Satish who participated in feeding the labour for a brief while on the Mancherial-Chandrapur NH.

Two roads, the NH 44 and the Mancherial-Chandrapur national highway, which pass through old Adilabad, are the main links connecting the south with central and north India. An estimated minimum of 3 lakh migrant workers have crossed into Maharashtra so far either on foot or on top of lorries through these roads.

“Our conscience suffered a jolt on seeing groups of tired and famished workers, including women and small children walking on the NH 44, towards the end of March. They had walked all the 300 km from Hyderabad and had to go a further 400 km to reach their home in Madhya Pradesh,” recalled Bheemsari sarpanch Mayur Chandra, who was among the tens of civil society organisations and teams from Adilabad to organise food camps by the side of NH44 on Adilabad bypass which falls in Nirmal Assembly constituency represented by Forest Minister A. Indrakaran Reddy, Boath Assembly constituency represented by Rathod Bapu Rao, Adilabad Assembly constituency represented by Jogu Ramanna and the Parliamentary constituency represented by Soyam Bapu Rao of BJP.

The villagers of Pipparwada, from where the border with Maharashtra is about 3 km, served food and water to the migrants until the second week of May while the team from Soma Enterprises Limited, the highway concessionaire continued to provide food till the exodus ended.

“No leader has come to the highway even to check how the ‘partners in development’, as Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao termed them, are faring. They, however, were found seizing photo opportunities while donating essential commodities among the local needy, evidently because the latter comprised electorate,” a sarpanch observed as he criticised leaders for their apathy towards a human crisis.

“In fact, some leaders from a national party even wanted essential commodities being distributed by civil society groups to be routed through them. Apparently, the leaders wanted all the praise for themselves without spending a penny,” a critic of the local leaders added.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 8:55:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/momentous-exodus-presents-contrasting-picture-in-charity/article31666269.ece

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