Now this is very absurd if you notice. The Centre after declaring that it had no data about these workers, shifted the entire responsibility about keeping data on migrants workers on the states. The ministry referred to the role of the state governments in addressing the migrant crisis. It said that all the states and Union Territories have been advised to take adequate steps to streamline the migration of the workers to mitigate their hardships during the journey.

“The states/UTs have been advised to implement the advisory guidelines by quickly gearing up their labour Law enforcement machinery and ensuring statutory compliance by all the stakeholders which could provide migrant workers much needed help to mitigate the financial crisis and empower them to deal with the pandemic,” the ministry told in Parliament. “The states/UTs have also been advised to maintain updated data of the migrant workers to facilitate the administration to extend benefits of the welfare schemes of the government to the migrant workers.”

5. Centre even blamed ‘fake news’ for spreading panic on migrant workers!

The entire nation knows what chaos it followed after the mass exodus these workers soon the lockdown was announced. The sudden imposition of the restrictions caused massive damage to the country’s lives and livelihoods. But the Centre blames it on the “fake news”. Migration of large number of migrant workers was triggered by panic created by fake news regarding the duration of lockdown, the Centre said on Tuesday, 15 September, in a written response to a question by Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy in the Lok Sabha. The TMC MP had asked about the steps taken to protect migrant labourers before the lockdown was announced, the reasons why thousands of labourers ended up walking home after it came into effect, and the number of those who died on the way home. As per a report, the migration of a large number of migrant workers was triggered by panic created by fake news regarding the duration of lockdown, and people, especially migrant labourers, were worried about an adequate supply of basic necessities like food, drinking water, health services and shelter. However, the Central government was fully conscious of this, and took all necessary measures to ensure that during the period of the inevitable lockdown, no citizen should be deprived of basic amenities of food, drinking water, medical facilities, etc,” the answer by Minister of State (MoS), Home Ministry, Nityanand Rai, read.

As we all know that in an unequal world, uncounted people are not just missing data. In a democracy, failing to enumerate the vulnerable is a method to disenfranchise them. Absence from state records means that the poor are omitted from welfare measures of the state. The Centre’s lack of data statement shows its sheer apathy about these large number of workers who contribute majorly to our economy.

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