While the unprecedented experiment of the nationwide lockdown, that was imposed in March, had pushed lakhs of migrant workers to encounter a huge tragedy and crisis in steering their lives amid being burdened with the lack of transportations and jobs for their survival with hundreds of them had died in the wake of the sudden lockdown, the Central government has seemingly divulged that it hasn't bothered about them and their plight as its apathy had now come to light after it revealed that it has no data on how many migrants had died during the lockdown.
Migrant workers have been one of the hard-hit groups of people due to the lockdown and there are multiple reports that revealed their plight of survival since the lockdown was imposed. Most of the migrant workers were levied with the challenge and trouble to go to their home states in the absence of transportation channels.
Their aberrant state of survival had emerged as one of the biggest crisis in the country and their plight has been making headlines with hundreds of migrants had died on the way under the hotty summer when they took the toughest passage of reaching their home, which is hundreds of kilometers away, through the walk.
The pictures and visuals of migrants who got stuck, starved for proper food and shelter, shredded tears with loss of hope, and died on the way to their home had captured the real and adverse impact of how the lockdown had affected the lives of millions, while some migrants had died of the road accidents, other had died after they got exhausted and collapsed on the ground with the lack of proper food and shelter. Though the migrant crisis in India had got international attention, the Central government had shown its apathy in responding and rescuing the lives of the migrant workers.
Its apathy came to light during the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament. Responding to the question raised by an MP, the government said that there is no data available to determine how many migrant workers had lost their lives because of the sudden nationwide lockdown, that the Center believed as a shield to contain and slay the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the reports, BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab had raised the question about migrant deaths in the Parliament and compensation given to such families. Responding to his question, the Union Labor Ministry said there is no data available on the deaths of migrant workers and since there is no data, the grounds for providing compensation don't arise. The Ministry has admitted that more than one crore migrant workers traveled back to their home states from various parts of the country.
However, the reports say, the government's assertion of having no data on the deaths of migrants had shown that it's still under laxity and negligence of the issue and the lives lost due to the sudden implementation of the lockdown. The government's written response in the Lok Sabha on Monday on the monsoon session had sparked massive uproar and outrage from the opposition parties with the leaders slashing the center over its apathy in addressing the crisis.
Amid showcasing its apathy on recording the lives lost in the wake of the lockdown, the labor ministry had claimed that it is taking efforts to subdue and mitigate the hardships of the migrant workers. It has said that with the view of mitigating the financial crisis of the migrant workers and protect them against the economic disruptions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, the Central government has taken multiple measures to provide them financial assistance, food packages, rations, and other benefits.
Attacking the government's response, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the Modi government doesn't know how many migrant workers died in lockdown and how many jobs were lost. Tweeting in Hindi, Gandhi asked the Center, "If you didn't count, so did they not die? Yes, it is said that this made no impact on the government. The whole world saw their deaths, only the Modi government was not aware of it".
Some of the leaders belong to the Congress and Trinamool Congress had said that the speeches by the Prime Minister and his ministers were nothing more than flowery words. According to some reports, around 10 million migrant workers left the cities and had returned to their villages and hometowns due to the nationwide lockdown.