A fundraiser has been set up to aid the migrant workers who have been stranded in Tamil Nadu.

Hundreds of migrants still stuck in TN heres how you can help them go home
news Lockdown Monday, June 08, 2020 - 16:55

For the past three months, Sahar Bano, a migrant worker in Chennai, has been waiting to go to her home in Kolkata. First, it was the COVID-19 lockdown that marred her dreams of taking her two children, aged 4 and 6, back to her home in West Bengal. And then came the cyclone — Amphan has left her home back in Kolkata in tatters. 

This is just one of the many hundreds of migrants who have been waiting in Tamil Nadu for their turn to go back to their homes. The ongoing lockdown has hit them hard, as most workers belong to low income groups and are not able to arrange transport on their own and have to depend on the government to come to their rescue. A complete shutdown of factories and industries had meant no income for them for months on end. 

“We have been living in a small basti in Chennai on rent, but we have not been able to pay the rent for the past three months. The home owner is an old lady herself and she too needs to sustain her living,” Sahar tells TNM. Sahar’s husband resolved to find odd jobs in Chennai and Sahar decided to take her children back to their home in Kolkata, firstly so that her husband does not have to spend too much on rent, and secondly, so that her old mother-in-law too has some help to recover from the devastation.

The central government has arranged for special train services, (Shramik trains) to take these migrant workers back to their villages – but due to the irregularity of the services and difficulties in booking a seat, they have provided little relief. 

“My husband went to get a ticket but he came back after seeing the massive crowds there. Police were also beating the people gathered there. We didn’t get any chance to get a ticket,” Sahar adds.

Flights have emerged as the only reliable means to travel and escape these hardships, but are out of reach to the urban poor, most of whom have been thrown out of jobs without pay due to the lockdown. 

A fundraiser has been set up to aid the migrant workers who have been stranded in Tamil Nadu.

The funds will be used to arrange the transport for stranded migrants from within the state, from their current location to an accessible airport, railway station etc. for them to travel inter-state and reach their homes. The funds will also be used to provide them support in the form of ration kits, food, medical supplies, etc. The money will also help improve the conditions of those workers who are living in shelters in Tamil Nadu.

You can help Sahar Bano reach her home in West Bengal. To contribute, click here.

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