Tamil Nadu

Ensure social security for migrant workers without ration cards or ID, say activists

In a letter to the Chief Minister, eminent citizens and tradre union leaders have asked the government to ensure that nearly 5 lakh migrant workers in Tamil Nadu do not miss out on the social security measures announced in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown

More than 50 eminent citizens, activists and trade union leaders have urged the Government of Tamil Nadu to ensure that nearly 5 lakh migrant workers who are in Tamil Nadu do not miss out on the social security measures announced by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday.

In the letter, they said that many among these migrant workers do not have proper ID or ration cards and may not be able to access the economic package extended by the State. They also asked the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration to set up shelters and community kitchen for stranded people as done by the Greater Chennai Corporation.

Considering the vulnerability of migrant workers, particularly those from the Northeast to social stigma and acts of racism, the signatories asked the government to take special measures to reassure migrant communities and discourage COVID -19 vigilantism.

“This is essential not merely to ensure the safety of workers from other parts of the country, but also to provide a fear-free atmosphere for workers to approach the health care institutions and prevent the spread of contagion. Measures targeting migrant workers are required urgently in manufacturing and construction hotspots like Chennai, Tirupur, Coimbatore, Madurai, Sivakasi, Thoothukudi, Sriperumbudur, Gummidipoondi and the industrial areas of Ponneri taluk,” they said in the letter.

The signatories to the letter also asked the State government to recruit trade unions to help identify ways of delivering social security benefits to migrant workers, and alerting them of the schemes by disseminating information in Odiya, Hindi, Telugu and Assamese.

They also sought strict enforcement of wage payments by employers and contractors, provision of basic food, water and healthcare products, and dedicated isolation facilities and identified hospitals and testing facilities for migrant workers to approach.

Mr. Palaniswami on Tuesday announced that all eligible ration cards are eligible for cash assistance of ₹1,000 and essential supplies such as rice, tur dal or Canadian yellow lentil, RBD palmolein oil and sugar, free during April.

The signatories include Jean Dreze, Right to Food activist and honorary professor, Ranchi University, Justice D. Hariparanthaman, Judge (retd), Madras High Court, professors from IIT-Madras, IIM Ahmedabad, MIDS, Centre for Development Studies, a number of labour and trade unions and citizen groups, among others.

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 7, 2020 3:41:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ensure-social-security-for-migrant-workers-without-ration-cards-or-id-say-activists/article31160930.ece

Next Story