Mamata asks 18 CMs to take care of labourers from Bengal in their States

Published : March 26, 2020 19:59 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Photo: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has appealed to 18 Chief Ministers to take care of labourers from Bengal who are stranded in their States owing to the 21-day lockdown declared by the Centre to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

In a letter dated March 26, Mamata wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray:

“Bengal has many workers—semi-skilled and unskilled working in different parts of the country. Due to the complete lockdown in the country for COVID-19 pandemic, many Bengal workers could not travel back and are stuck in different places.

“We have received information that many such workers… are stuck in your State too. We are getting SOS calls from them. They are generally in groups of 50-100…. Since it is not possible for us to reach any help to them, I take the opportunity to request you to kindly ask your administration to provide them with basic shelter, food and medical support during this period of crisis. We in Bengal are taking care of such stuck people in our State.

“My Chief Secretary will pass on the details of such people to your Chief Secretary to hasten up this entire process of humanitarian support in this hour of crisis.”

Similar letters were sent to 17 other Chief Ministers. Bengal has a very large number of migrant workers in the unorganised sector who are facing uncertainty in this period of lockdown.

On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to try and stem the spread of the Coronavirus. As of March 26, 10 persons in West Bengal have tested positive for coronavirus infection, and of them one died on March 23.