Central Government was fully conscious that during the period of an inevitable lockdown, people should not be deprived of essential supplies. The situation was closely monitored 24*7 through Control Rooms at national level. With a view to provide food, health care and shelter to homeless people including migrant workers, Central Government on 28.03.2020, allowed the State Governments to use State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for this purpose.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also issued regular advisories to States/Union Territories (UTs) to take all necessary measures to provide shelters, food, water, health facilities and also proper counselling to migrant workers.
MHA on 19th April, 2020 allowed movement of migrant workers within the States/UTs so that these workers could be engaged in industrial, farming, construction, manufacturing and MNREGA works as additional new activities were permitted outside containment zones with effect from 20.04.2020. MHA vide orders dated 29th April and 1st May 2020, further allowed movement of migrants workers to their native places by buses and Shramik special trains respectively.
Data on the number of persons who died on road while trying to reach their home State during COVID-19 lockdown is not centrally maintained. However, all necessary steps were taken by Central Government to facilitate the movement of migrant workers.
The Central Government, on 26th March, 2020 announced a relief package under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana”, totaling Rs.1.70 lakh crore for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus. Around 42 crore poor people have received financial assistance of Rs. 68, 820 crore under this scheme. Further the Central Government have launched the “Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan” on 20th June, 2020 to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages, in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha today.
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