Against last year, with rising cases of coronavirus and the deadliest second wave, migrant workers have started to return to their homes as of last year. Meanwhile, rice mill owners in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have started taking all possible measures to prevent their workers from going back due to fear of Covid-19 lockdown.
In this series, the mill owners in Telangana are providing many facilities such as face masks and sanitizers and lunch, along with a place to restrain their laborers. At the same time, people of Andhra have started giving free rice and vegetables to their workers along with fans and air-coolers apart from home.
According to the Indian Express, more than 1.5 lakh migrant workers from other states including Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal work in 2,200 rice mills in Telangana, where their main work involves loading and unloading rice sacks. During the epidemic last year, thousands of wages left for their home states, which had greatly affected the rice mills.
Manchu Venkateswararu, owner of a rice mill in Miryalaguda and former president of the Miryalaguda Rice Millers Association, said, “Last year, to bring them back, we also paid them a train fare, among other things. We don’t want them to run again Go, but they are worried that there may be another lockdown and they will be stranded here. “
He added, “However, I have assured them that they will be well taken care of if such a situation arises. To be safe from Covid-19, I have told them not to move out of the mill premises.”
He added, “We are giving free meals to the mill so that they do not go out in the afternoon and we have also built additional sheds for them to stay. We have also provided sanitizers and masks. In the coming days, if needed, So we will also give dry ration. “
Why are workers worried?
President of Telangana Rice Millers Association, Gampa Nagender said, “As the situation in Covid-19 worsens, they are worried whether they will be able to go back to their family, and these people always refer to Maharashtra and night curfew Use to do it.”
The Telangana government has imposed curfew from 9 am to 5 am from 20 April to 1 May. This has increased the concern of migrant workers, who believe that a complete lockdown can be imposed at any time thereafter. However, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar has assured that the lockdown will not happen and has also appealed to workers not to panic.
Cooler-fans being given in Andhra Pradesh
In the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh, which has about 3,000 rice mills, the owners are giving free rice and vegetables to their workers. G Venkateswara Rao, president of the Andhra Pradesh Rice Millers Association, said, “We have asked our members to take care of the workers as much as possible. The workers have also realized that if they stay in the mills instead of traveling at this time, Only then will they be safe. “
Rao said, “Most rice millers have started giving free rice and vegetables. Fans and air-coolers are also being provided with sheds and quarters.” In May last year, the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh arranged several trains to bring back the workers of Bihar and Jharkhand.
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