Homecoming of Migrants within the Lockdown
The Migrant Labour Control Room (MLCR) of Jharkhand state is operational from 27th March 2020 to serve the issues of stranded migrants of the state has benefitted lakhs of individuals in various forms so far. Migrant Labour Control Room -helpline comprises 10 phone numbers (0651-2490037, 0651-2490055, 0651-2490083, 0651-2490104, 0651-2490127, 0651-2490052, 0651-2490058, 0651-2490092, 0651-2490128, 0651-2490128) for direct contact and 5 numbers (9431336472, 9431336427, 9431336432, 9470132591, 9431336398) for WhatsApp, Text Message which runs round the clock to attend the calls from people stranded outside the state. The stranded people comprise workers, seasonal migrants, students, professionals, tourists and patients who got stranded at various locations of the country from 25th March 2020 with commencement of 21-day lockdown. Later on the lockdown was extended.
The stranded person mostly labours who migrate from their villages in search of jobs and earning opportunities to various pockets of country. Their status became vulnerable as their earning activities like factories, mills, go down, offices, etc. were closed and the people not having any means to sustain themselves or move back to their homes during the lock down. The stranded people were facing a lot of difficulty to manage food, ration and pay their rent amount as the sudden closure before month end vanished their money and many of the people do earn on daily wage basis.
The complete details of calls made by the stranded people to the toll free number 18003456526 of the Labour Department, data received by various sources to the department is also provided to the Migrant Labour Control Room. Apart from this, full details are provided to the stranded people to register on the Jharkhand Travel Registration Form (website: http://jharkhandpravasi.in) by the Migrant Labour Control Room.
Calls made by the stranded people to the migrant control room and their details are noted and entered in the database. The details include the lead person’s name i.e. the name of caller, phone number, State/UT & district name where they are stranded, the number of people stranded with the lead person, their source district and issues being faced by them criteria wise like – Food availability, Ration duration, accommodation status, medical issues and financial status. Apart from these if the callers complain about their starvation the call is treated as emergency cases. The tele callers attending the phone calls also counsel the callers who are is distressed situation, having no means to fetch food, issues with lockdown, shortage of money, etc. as the lock down has brought many challenges for them. All the details are filled in the application software and the state wise details of every phone call is reported to the CMO.
The state wise detail shared with the Government of Jharkhand is further shared with the respective state/UT government for providing relief. Many of the people have so far are getting regular benefits like food, ration, shelter and medical support. Some of the people who have not receive any help or received inadequate help or they face discrimination or infrequent support does redial the helpline.
Recently Government of Jharkhand launched the DBT scheme named “MukhyamantriVisheshSahaytaYojna- APP”. This scheme is for all the stranded people outside Jharkhand. More than 2,75,000 people applied in the first phase and more than 2,00,000 people have received INR 1,000/- from the state Government as remedial help. The labour control room has facilitated many callers to complete their online submission of DBT application along with the regular affairs.
The Migrant Labour Control Room has been instrumental in supporting the state Government by maintaining the database, counselling the stranded people, coordinating the support structure initiated by the government, coordinating with other states and UTs, State planning the evacuation of stranded people and initiating the DBT process. The Migrant Labour Control Room, lead and managed by Phia team is also supported by other government agencies and wings namely Wireless Police, JAP-IT, HSB, JSLPS, Women police, etc. who attend the phone calls and enter the data in the application software. Similarly, the district labour superintendent offices located at district level also enter the details of stranded people. The Phia team is managing the affairs, regulating shifts, logistic arrangements and data reporting to the Government of Jharkhand.