Over 100 migrant workers from State stranded in Goa

They hardly have any savings and are running out of rations

March 29, 2020 11:07 pm | Updated 11:07 pm IST - KALLAKURICHI

Over 100 migrant labourers from Kallakurichi district, who were working at an ice factory in the Malim Fisheries Cooperative in Goa, are now stranded there, unable to return to their home towns as a result of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to S. Devendran, a migrant worker from Sankarapuram taluk in Kallakurichi district,

the workers, including those from Kallakurichi and Villupuram districts, were employed at the fisheries cooperative in Malim, where the daily catch was loaded into lorries and sent to various destinations. In view of the lockdown, fishing activity had come to a standstill, and the workers had been stranded here for the past few days. “Around 20 to 30 workers have been accommodated in a godown in the fisheries cooperative, while a few others have taken rooms on rent. We have only minimal savings, and with our rations running out, we don’t know how long we can manage. Our request to the government is to help us immediately,” said P. Tamilselvan, another labourer.

Describing their plight, M. Sankar, a migrant worker, said most of them were living in cramped accommodation with poor facilities. “We don’t have any medical assistance in case we fall ill. While we were getting ready to return to Kallakurichi, train services were completely stopped. With fishing activity also coming to a standstill, we don’t know how long we could manage here without wages.”

When contacted Kallakurichi Collector Kiran Gurrala said the administration was in touch with the workers.

“We have requested them to stay back as the Centre has restricted movement of migrants across borders to contain the spread of COVID-19. The administration will take up this issue with the authorities in Goa and ensure that basic facilities are provided to the workers,” he said.

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