The pandemic COVID 19 has adversely affected people across India. It’s heart-wrenching to see so many labourers losing their jobs. For the last 4 months, we have been witnessing a crisis where labourers are dying either in a road accident, due to the virus or starvation. The pandemic has pushed back many people to the place from where they had started their journey.
During this crisis, the P.M of the nation had announced the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme’. As per the scheme, numerous governments have taken a decision of changing the definition of MSMEs boosting scope for private participation in numerous sectors, increasing FDI in the defence sector and the vision has found support in many sectors such as the solar manufacturer’s sector.
A few days back an affidavit was filed by Anjali Bhardwaj in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union of India to extend schemes like Atma Nirbhar Bharat or any other scheme designed for 8 crore migrant laborers or any needy person who comes under the NFSA (Nation Food Security Act) as these schemes provide dry ration to the needy people. Seeing the current scenario of the COVID-19 crisis, these schemes should be at least extended for the coming 12 months or ensure their inclusion under the National Food Security Act by the issuance of ration cards.
The main concern mentioned in the affidavit was the continuation of free cooked meal for the migrant labourers as the provision for free cooked food has now been suspended. Bhardwaj has also sought for directions to the Union of India and state government to make a proper structure with the chief secretaries of each state, who will be responsible for the time-bound implementation of the scheme for distributing food grains to migrant workers.
Due to the pandemic, migrant workers are suffering from loss of a roof over their head and loss of three square meals a day, which eventually has forced their exodus from their work state to home state.