It is not a true democracy if the majority of the population is left helpless with no means of survival. Videos and pictures also facing of the migrant workers. They are travelling thousands of kilometres by foot. Some are carrying their children, some women are expecting children. Is this how the nation honours the people who work for them?
Ever since coronavirus has entered India, there one thing that the people have realised. More than money we need compassion in our country. People are ill-treating those who do not have enough money. It’s as if the whole country is divided into slabs. It is always said that a rickshaw puller has food so what else does he want? The fact is that we have these preconceived notions about everyone’s demands and they can you want in their life, is very surprising and tells where are we are standing. There is not even 1 ounce of humanity left with humans.
If we talk about the whole country there is only one entity responsible for the well-being. That is the government that we have elected by giving our votes. we pay taxes, we make donations to all the funds which are created, we also indulge in charities, what else is needed from the citizens? Surveys have shown that more NGOs have fed the poor than the government. There is a huge sum of money available in the PM Cares fund and that money is unaccounted for. you can distribute one roti to every Indian from that money for end number of days. But that isn’t being done. People are still sleeping with an empty stomach. Some are dying of starvation. And the most horrific part is the migrant labourers travelling to their home town on foot. What is this democracy? We question the sense of this constitution. The businessman have refused to pay wages to the workers during this lockdown. Companies have cut the salaries of the employees and have also resorted to firing the employees. With no money left in the pockets of the people, how will they feed their families?
The labourers are saying that if nothing works out in their favour, they won’t be able to sustain their families for more than a week. In various western and southern states, the contractors let go of the labourers just when the lockdown came into effect. In March the Home Ministry made it compulsory for the factories to pay the wages of their labourers but many capitalists didn’t even pay the salaries for the day is the labourers worked for. From a survey it was inferred that 63% labourers were not even paid wages which were owed to them. NGOs, volunteers, health institutions are busy feeding these migrant workers and all this wouldn’t have occurred had the government made some stringent laws.
There will come a time when shops will not have enough labourers, public transit will stop operating, manufacturing industries will not work, construction jobs will not speed up. All this because the lower section of the society is being ill-treated right now. The fear and uncertainty of the pandemic along with the humiliation of not having enough money is the main driver for these migrant workers to leave these urban areas and flock to their villages. A company in Karnataka went to the Supreme Court to remove the rule of paying wages to the labourers. There is no humanity left. According to various studies a day will come when the labourers will return, but that they will not be before October. A few builders have said that facilities are being provided to their contractual labourers, we feel that rather than the facilities wages should have been given. As soon as the industries will face labour shortages, the wage rate for the labourers will go up. It is the basic demand and supply theory. This is how the labourers will come back more powerful than ever.
The heartless capitalists deserve this. It is also said that the state governments don’t have the exact database of the migrant workers they have. How are they fending them when they don’t even know who they are? rules are passed, statements are passed, the practical implementation is never done. this is the country we are living in.
On May 8, migrant labourers were killed who were returning to their home state when a goods train ran over them. migrant labourers are being heard from one place to another. The states are saying that their home states are not ready to receive them. What is the truth? The nation wants to know. Stranded workers action network has said that there has been high number of SOS calls for demand of cash and food made by stranded migrants. If we go out of our houses and just observe, we will be able to see what is actually happening around us. A policeman from Bangalore was seen kicking and punching migrant workers in a video. It was told to the Supreme Court that there were no labourers on the streets and highways, at the same time social media was flooded with pictures of migrant labourers protesting. The chief minister of Bengal was the first one to do something about the same. They have started certain initiatives but those initiatives are also not adequate. Flights are being arranged to bring back Indians from other countries, but what about the interstate movement of the people who do not have money? Is the government only Meant for those people who gave taxes and not for the one who work day and night just for filling their stomachs?
After various appeals were made the trains for migrant workers were started. The most heartbreaking part was that the workers had to pay for the train tickets. And not just pay, they had to pay additional charges too. All this was done five weeks after the lockdown was imposed. The railways has a social responsibility too. The responsibility towards its citizens. Why isn’t the money collected under the PM cares fund being used here?
Even when the trains have started, workers are resorting to go by foot. They are not crazy. They are just forced to do this because of lack of money and lack of compassion which is there in the mind of the government. they are moving with no food, no new clothes, no money in their pockets and a broken heart because of the promises which were made to them. Even if the trains are transferring them to their home state, the home state refused to let them in. Doors are closed on their faces. Why is no action being taken at the right time but after five weeks? Why was the train started on Labor Day? Is this the gift being provided to the labourers? We are sorry but basic necessities don’t count as blessings. A certain level of living needs to be achieved in our country and every good measure which is taken up should not be publicised so much because it is done just to fulfil the basic needs of the people.