Letter to BS: Spare a thought for daily wage earners and migrant workers

As the nationwide lockdown in wake of Covid-19 has been extended till May 3, let’s spare some thoughts for the crores of poor daily wage earners and migrant workers left without jobs and money, struggling to find food. They need basic income support, which most Western countries have provided. The government of India must announce some help urgently. Those living in gated apartments can spend the lockdown period watching movies on Netflix and ordering food online, but not a potter who makes his living selling pots. Over 136 million non-agricultural jobs are at risk in the wake of the pandemic. Casual labourers working on rural farmlands and urban construction sites are the worst hit.

The Centre should focus on immediate correction of the current situation besides having a major plan for the future. Both inter- and intra-state migrants, who are stranded without work, should be identified and provided with basic amenities like shelter, food and medical aid. Urban areas must show their preparedness to help them stay back and work. Also, the government should wave off Mudra loans for this quarter at least.

Ravi Teja Kathuripalli    Hyderabad

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