The nationwide lockdown that was imposed on the 25th of March has paved the way for one of the biggest humanitarian crises the country has seen – the migrant worker crisis. The crisis continues to exist even after two months.
The nationwide lockdown that was announced due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in order to control the spread of the disease was quickly turned into a human tragedy. The migrant workers who were working in different cities across the country, those who work for daily wages, were suddenly left with no job. With no jobs, no money, and the landlords evacuating them, the migrant workers had no option but to walk thousands of kilometers to reach their safest shelter, their homes.
The government woke up after a month to organize Special Shramik Trains to ferry migrants to their homes. While most of them could avail of the service, many others fell prey to the tragedy. Close to 200 migrant laborers and their family have lost their lives in road accidents alone during the lockdown. According to the SaveLIFE Foundation, the reason behind the majority of the accidents are the overspeeding vehicles.
Uttar Pradesh reported the highest deaths
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, and Maharashtra accounted for the maximum number of deaths. Uttar Pradesh reported 94 migrant deaths, Madhya Pradesh with 38. Bihar with 16, Telangana with 11 and Maharashtra with 9 deaths. The foundation said,
“Since the lockdown began, nearly 200 migrant workers have lost their lives, while walking, cycling back home, traveling in Heavy Motor Vehicles and Light Motor Vehicles and in mass fatality crashes involving state-organized buses. One of the recurring reasons for mass casualties in most of the incidents was speeding and driver fatigue due to continuous driving on tenuous routes.”
The third phase of the lockdown reported the highest number of migrant deaths amounting to 60 percent of the deaths. The first phase of the lockdown saw 25 deaths, the second phase witnessed 17 deaths, the fourth phase had 38 deaths while the third phase witnessed 118 migrant deaths. The foundation further said,
“There were at least 1,461 road crashes over the course of the nationwide lockdown between March 25 and May 31, 2020. At least 750 people were killed including 198 migrant workers headed home. 1,390 persons were reported injured in the crashes. The data has been compiled using media-tracking and multi-source verification.”
Source: India Times