Over 40 Lakh Migrant Workers Have Registered to Return to Native Places: Union Minister Kishan Reddy

Over 40 lakh migrant workers have registered across the country to return to their native places even as the number is growing, Union Minister Kishan Reddy said on Monday and called for states to ensure all such people are identified and enrolled to facilitate their onward journey.

He also said that the Centre is mulling bringing out modalities for setting up Anganwadi centres, admissions into schools and scholarships to the children of migrant workers at their respective workplaces, besides insurance coverage.

Speaking to the media through video conferencing, the Minister of State for home said the Centre cannot ferry all the registered workers at one go as it may create problems in terms of keeping them in mandatory isolation at the recipient state.

According to him, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar received over 500 and 400 Shramik Special Trains respectively. "All over the country, so far over 40 lakh migrant workers have registered their names. The number is going up.

The Centre took up the responsibility of providing train services to ferry them to their native places. All the state governments should take the responsibility of identifying migrant labourers in their respective places. We are ready to provide as many trains as the states want," Reddy said.

He opined that the stateshave to make decisions with a two-pronged idea- one to restore activities like construction and industrial works so that the workers are kept busy wherever they are located and the second, to register names of those who want to go back to their native places with "emotional attachment".

Expressing concern over the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths due to the disease, Reddy said there are 934 COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in the country with over three lakh beds and over 30,000 Intensive Care Units (ICU).

"There was only one lab (for coronavirus testing) in Pune in our country in March in the initial days of the virus prevalence.

Today we have 531 labs in the country, of which 379 are in the government sector and 152 labs are under private medical colleges and hospitals and others," he said.

The minister said over 93 lakh N-95 masks and 56 lakh PPE kits have been sent to states so far.