As the second wave of Covid 19 infections grip our country, vivid and disturbing sights of migrant lives in turmoil return.
Losses of jobs, wages and homes, food insecurity and anxiety is driving migrants, who had returned to cities and towns in search of livelihoods, to urgently retrace their steps homeward.
The 2021 exodus is not as visible as 2020’s because migrants are not walking back en masse on the streets; they are at railway stations, bus stands, truck stops and highway junctions. Large numbers remain in limbo at labour points (often referred to as majur addas) in different parts of our cities. HCNF and it’s partner organisations visit these addas to counsel and support those in need. Some migrants are being helped to return home. Those who are economically compelled to stay need food and hygiene assistance, including masks and sanitizers, and rations and household items to survive.
Due to the partial lockdown that’s declared in many states, with Maharashtra a prime example, the informal sectors of employment like street vending, loading-unloading, small constructions and so on have stopped. During weekdays, many who would otherwise been employed in the informal sector are on the street looking for help. The support (3kgs of wheat and 2kgs of rice and Rs 1500 for rickshaw drivers) declared by governments which is welcome but is far from adequate. Once again we face a massive humanitarian crisis affecting large numbers of India’s poorest families.
HCNF and it’s partners in Pune and Delhi have been providing assistance to crisis-stricken families and children among the poorest sections of society. We make an earnest appeal to all our supporters to donate generously and enable us to reach out to many more families and children. Through your generous donations in 2020, we were able to support around 7000 families and children. Your donations this time round will enable us to care for many more.