India’s countrywide lockdown as a result of Covid-19 Pandemic affected various strata of its population. The effects of lockdown are extremely pronounced in the life of unorganized migrant labourers, mainly low or semi-skilled workers traveling outside their home for work. The sudden lockdown, extending now for months, resulted in millions of migrants losing their daily wages immediately followed by depletion of meagre resources to sustain their family away and at home. A widely-quoted figure is 65 million inter-state migrants, of which a third are workers. With no sight of an end to the lockdown and no resources to support their family while facing a fear of getting infected by the pandemic virus, they decide to take long journey of going back home. They rushed to the bus and train stations to return home only to find that the gates had been shut before they got there. The new norm of social distancing in buses/ trains and restricted borders left the Government with meagre resources to transport these migrants. In this developing situation, many civil society groups and local NGOs have stepped forward in providing food, travel support and other relief effort for the stranded migrants and needy people.
We decided to take an initiative of supporting migrant labourers and their families in transporting migrant labourers and their families. In its first initiative, transportation arrangement for Migrant labourers, dropped by Maharashtra state buses at the states border of Maharashtra- Chhattisgarh (at two locations - Manpur and Baghnadi Check post) shall be provided along with immediate food and other essential needs for their onward journey.
From 11 May 2020, 3000-4000 migrants were dropped at the Maharashtra state border by the state government buses. We are working with local organization called SOCHARA to support on 500 people in 6-7 buses travelling around 125 km to reach Rajnandgoan. Each person is given 2 bags of cookies, 2-3 bananas, 1 soap and 2 masks. We have selected AID Houston, as our 501(c)(3) partner to ensure an organized and transparent disbursement of funds. Moreover, AID has the critical boots on the ground needed to ensure that the funds reach the migrants that needed these funds the most.
With the influx of more migrant labourers at the border, we are seeking funds for covering the cost of transportation, including essential food and immediate needs for 7 trips per day over a period of 6 days, for the travel of migrant labourers and their families by buses from Maharashtra Border (where the state buses drop the migrants) to the nearest city, Rajnandgoan in Chhattisgarh (no state buses), where more stay and transportation options are available.
The aim of the project is to cover the cost of about 2000 migrants workers' food and travel from Maharashtra state border to the Rajnandgoan. We request your help in the form of donations to run this program successfully and extend the duration of services. There is no amount too little and every bit helps towards meeting our goal.