MHA asks states, UTs to help migrant workers, students from outside during COVID-19 lockdown

The Ministry of Homa Affairs (MHA) on Friday asked all states and union territories (UTs) to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter, to migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganized sector workers during the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus COVID-19.

The Union Home Secretary also wrote to all states and UTs have been advised to take steps to ensure that students, working women from other states, etc. are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation.

The advisory suggests that in order to mitigate the situation for unorganized sector workers, particularly stranded migrant workers, states/UTs need to explore measures by involving various agencies, including NGOs, to provide food and shelter with basic amenities like clean drinking water, sanitation etc.

Further, states/UTs have also been advised to make these vulnerable groups aware of the measures taken by the government including the provision of free food grains and other essential items through PDS, and streamline the distribution system. This would help prevent avoidable movement of such people, according to the advisory.

The MHA has also advised that states/UTs need to ensure that hotels, rented accommodations, hostels etc., continue to remain functional and delivery of essential items is streamlined, so that students, working women hostel inmates etc. are allowed to continue in existing facilities, while observing precautions.

While ensuring the supply of essential goods and services, states/UTs are being repeatedly directed to enforce the lockdown strictly and take action against violators under various provisions of law. This is imperative to contain the spread of COVID-19.