National

Coronavirus lockdown | Migrant labourers holed up in their dwellings without work, access to food

Migrant labourers from Bengal are stuck in shanties in New Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar for nearly a week since the Janta Curfew was announced.

Migrant labourers from Bengal are stuck in shanties in New Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar for nearly a week since the Janta Curfew was announced.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Attempts to call various helplines have so far been unsuccessful, they say

Scores of migrant labourers employed in various activities here are stuck in their dwellings without work, money and access to food and are not stepping outside for fear of being attacked by police personnel following the imposition of the 21-day lock down, they said on Thursday.

Full coverage on coronavirus

Fazlur Rahman, 22, is holed up in a shanty in Vishwas Nagar, having arrived here only a week ago to start working at a construction site. “We hadn’t even worked for a day before the project was called off because of the [janata] curfew,” he said over the phone. He along with about 15 other people have now been stuck at their house here for nearly a week and ran out of food on Wednesday evening, he said.

“We’re afraid to step out because we’ve seen the police beat up people,” he said. In a video he shared, Rahman is seen speaking in Bengali appealing for help from authorities to help them return to their houses in West Bengal. “There are about a hundred like us in different parts of Delhi and nearby,” he said. Rahman reported that attempts to call various helplines have so far been unsuccessful. The one request the labourers here made was to help them get back home through some means.

In Ghazipur, his friend, Sorful Jahan, who worked at the slaughter house, finds himself without work since March 20, he said. About 40 others are staying in rooms provided by their employer at present, he said. “Khane ke liye hum chup chup ke jate hain” [We go get some food furtively], said Makoob. A nearby canteen run for the workers at the slaughterhouse is still reportedly in operation and serving them food. Here too, Makoob reports that police personnel are indiscriminately attacking people who step outside. “One of our friends went outside and returned beaten up on Wednesday,” he said.

Also read | ‘Heat is not a deterrent for transmission’: Your COVID-19 queries answered

The labourers in Greater Noida, staying at jhuggis near the Ek Murti chowk, similarly reported that police personnel were beating up people who stepped out on to the streets. “We had some dal and roti but that has run out..we just had some biscuits today, if we could get some food, that would be very helpful,” he said over the phone.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:05:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-migrant-labourers-holed-up-in-their-dwellings-without-work-access-to-food/article31172867.ece

Next Story