Don Bosco Solidarity for the Migrant Worker
The sight of hundreds of hungry, exhausted interstate migrant workers including women and children trudging hundreds of kilometres in the scorching Indian heat to reach their homes is heart-wrenching. They are prepared to die in their efforts and 134 have been killed already; by exhaustion, rail and road accidents (17 May, Indian Express). The absolute needlessness of their deaths is shaking the national conscienceby bringing into sight the callousness that permeates our systems. It also brings into sharp focus the world of difference in treatment for those who have and those who don’t.
The Indian Express reports that close to 1,000 Shramik special trains have transported over 10 lakh migrants around the country so far. But the estimated size of the migrant workforce in India per the Economic Survey of India 2016-17, is over 10 crores. So, the need is nowhere close to being met right now.
Don Bosco Network and its partners want to help migrants reach their homes safely. With the easing of restrictions in Lockdown 4.0, this is finally possible to some extent. This initiative to reach the migrant home would include organising transport; either hiring buses to transport people or purchasing their tickets on other available means of transport. Maintaining the required physical distance on buses would mean a lot more trips and increased cost per head. The endeavour would also mean working with interstate government officials and police for permissions and partnering with other NGOs to organise the needed healthcare follow-up for the migrant workers in their home states.
The Don Bosco Network requests support from anyone who feels invested in this cause of transporting the vulnerable interstate migrant worker home safely. Let’s show our solidarity for the migrant worker and convey them home.
The Don Bosco Network in India comprises of 11 Planning and Development Organisations (PDOs), each dedicated to the development of the Salesian provinces they serve. The Don Bosco network is spread across 29 states and 354 NGOs, reaching more than 10 lakh people.