‘Migrant exodus is the greatest human tragedy of our times’

Instead of presiding over the plight of migrant workers, the Union government should use the PM CARES Fund to help them, the Congress said on Sunday.

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At an online press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the latest wave of migrant exodus is “the greatest human tragedy of our times, and the government should show more empathy”.

“Why has the PM CARES Fund been put in quarantine instead of the money being used for those who are most adversely impacted? How much has been collected in the fund and when will it be used? It’s time this insensitive government wakes up to the plight of migrant labour and decisively acts to protect them,” she said.

Ms. Shrinate alleged that the ruling BJP was trying to block the assistance provided by the Congress and, together with the Railway Ministry, was resorting to petty politics.

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Proper measures

The Congress spokesperson said no transport was being given to people to reach railway stations. “We urge the government to earnestly announce proper rescue and relief measures for migrant labourers,” she said.

Every human being wants to be at home in times of a crisis, and the migrant labourers were denied this benefit, Ms. Shrinate said. “Most of them had lost their jobs,” she said.

“There were millions of migrant workers who were left stranded all across the country, no measures were taken to rescue or protect them. And even today, we see many of them walking home. How can we, Indians, be fine with the worst human tragedy unfolding right before our eyes? On the last count till May 8, as many as 42 migrant workers had lost their lives. Who is responsible for this,” she asked.

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Ms. Shrinate said, “Charging train fare from the migrants was an act from the most insensitive most insensitive government”.

"The BJP has continued to play petty politics and both the railway ministry as well as the central government have tried to block the assistance offered by Congress. We urge the government to earnestly announce proper rescue and relief measures for migrant labour," she said.

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