Migrants want to return despite getting amenities at shelters

They are worried about well-being of their family members in native States

Updated - March 31, 2020 09:02 am IST

Published - March 30, 2020 10:50 pm IST - Visakhapatnam

A migrant from Bihar explaining his woes at a shelter home in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

A migrant from Bihar explaining his woes at a shelter home in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

Despite setting up the temporary shelter homes for migrant workers with the basic amenities, the challenge faced by the GVMC officials and the police is retaining them behind, as most of them are desperate to go home.

In the last couple of days, the GVMC has set up five shelter homes at Seethammadhara, Dondaparthi, Asilmetta, MVP Colony and Vepagunta, accommodating about 900 beggars and migrant workers from various States such as Odisha, Rajasthan, Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. Though the authorities concerned has provided the basic amenities such as beds, bedsheets, toiletries and food three times a day including breakfast, the migrant workers are in no mood to stay back.

Speaking to The Hindu , Arivind from Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, who had come here for daily wage, said, “I have a family back home with two small kids. It is important that I go back, as I am the only bread winner in my family. It is true that I am getting my food here but I am worried about their well- being.” Arivind is housed at Vemana Mandir shelter home.

Similarly, Akash from Rajasthan, who is housed at Subbalakshmi Kalyana Mandapam, says that he is ready to walk back home, as he is worried about his aged parents.

To keep them under watch and to see that that the supplies reach them on time, the City Police has deputed a constable 24/7 and GVMC has deputed a team of at least two to three members at each shelter home.

Organisations such a Jain Association, Vana Prasthanam and MS Ramaiah Constructions have come forward to supply breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“Each day we are supplying about 700 to 900 meals for lunch and we will do it till April 14, as asked by the GVMC,” said an official from Ramaiah Constructions.

According to GVMC- MEPMA Project Director Y. Srinivasa Rao, about 10 more function halls that can accommodate at least 100 people each have been identified and they will be opened in the next couple of days. “As per the instruction of GVMC Commissioner G. Srijana, we intend to scale up the facility at least by an additional 1,500 in the next two days,” he said.

The new ones will be located at areas such as Visakha – South, Madhavadhara, Sriharipuram and Gajuwaka.

What is needed

According to GVMC officials, there is no shortage of food, as people are coming forward with food and fruits, what we need is donors for soaps and hand sanitisers.

Control room

GVMC has set-up a control room at Swarna Bharati Stadium to handle the migrant labour and beggars’ issue and people can call up the following numbers to enable the team present there to pick up such a person: 0891-2732410

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