NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Friday that the center and the state government could have done more for migrant workers who faced a lot due to nationwide lockdown. He said that crores of migrants and labourers who worked at factories and construction sites were left idol and with no food, income, and shelter when the center announced the nationwide lockdown in late March to control the spread of coronavirus.
When the migrants were left with no other option, they decided to go to their villages on foot and visuals of pregnant women and exhausting children walking on the highways and streets started coming in. Later, the central government agreed to ply special trains and busses for the migrants. He added that though, the lockdown was successful in controlling the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the migrant crises were handled poorly.
He also said that this was the sole responsibility of the state government to look after the workers of their state and make arrangements accordingly. He added that this was a challenge for the government where he thinks that a better job for taking care of the migrants could be done.
When the government was later blamed and criticized for the handling of the migrants, it promised extra finance to get the migrants back home and to provide food rations to the workers and their families. Till now, India has reported more than 1,18 lakh cases of COVID-19 with 3,583 deaths as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.