Some labourers want to return home while some want to resume work
Since the implementation of lockdown in the State, a number of labourers are fang challenges in Dehradun and other parts of the state. While some of them are glad about getting adequate ration supplies for their families from the administration during the current crisis, most of them are migrant workers who only want to return to their villages. On the occasion of Labour Day, some labourers shared their experiences during the lockdown and what do they expect once it gets over.
Shyam Kumar, a labourer from Bihar said, “I live with four other labourers near Tehsil Chowk. Though, we often get ration and cooked food packets from the administration, it is still hard for us to manage to buy some basic things like a packet of milk for tea, sugar and kerosene.”
His room-mate Suryabhushan Lal said, “Last week, we had ration but did not have kerosene in our stove to cook food. Generally, our contractor manages kerosene for us as we do not possess ration cards but last week we had to buy it from a man who charged Rs 480 for four litres of kerosene, half of which is still pending.”
According to a local labourer Lal Chand, he is happy with the government providing them food and ration but some people make them feel humiliated too. “We are regularly getting food from the administration. Sometimes some NGOs and social workers also deliver the food in our colony but most people just want to click pictures while handling us the ration. Our families are thankful for the help but sometimes it feels humiliating too. We are poor but we earn our bread. I hope this lockdown gets over soon so that we can go back to earn our livelihood,” said Chand.
On about being asked about their expectations after the lockdown is lifted, many replied that they will return to their native villages to help their families in the fields while some of them expect to resume their work. “I will return to Bihar if the government allows because it is better to help my family with crops in fields than wasting my time here. The danger will not be over soon so it is better to stay at home and harvest crops,” opined Arun Sharma. Another worker Suryakant Chandra said, “Some of my fellow workers have got work under MGNREGA this week, I hope those who are not registered under this programme will get the work too after the lockdown.”
Saturday, 02 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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