Raj govt intensifies counselling of anxious migrant workers stranded away from homes

Jaipur, Apr 29 (PTI) Rajasthan's Labour Department has intensified the psychological counselling of stranded migrant workers staying in different shelter homes as many states including West Bengal, Telangana and Bihar have refused to allow their residents to return from other parts of the country, officials said.

Stuck in shelter homes for over a month during the nationwide lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic and with some states refusing to facilitate inter-state transfers of people, migrant workers are increasingly being affected by distress, fear and anxiety, they said.

'West Bengal and Bihar have refused inter-state transfer of migrant workers whereas other states have agreed. With several leaving shelters for their homes, fear and anxiety has increased among those who are left out. We have intensified counselling to assure them that they will be sent back to their homes soon,' Labour Minister Tikaram Jully told PTI.

He said till Tuesday about 3.75 lakh migrant workers stranded in other states registered with the Rajasthan government to return to their homes in this state whereas about 1.25 lakh workers stuck in Rajasthan want to move to their respective states.

The Rajasthan government had started registration of migrants and labourers willing to return home on the helpline number 18001806127, eMitra Rajasthan portal, e-Mitra mobile app or at e-Mitra Kisosk. After registration of the workers, the state government would obtain consent from the concerned governments of the registered workers' states of residence.  About a fortnight ago, the Labour Department had asked the officials in the districts to start counselling of migrant workers. It has now asked them to pay special attention to the counselling of migrants as many have left for their homes and the remaining are developing anxiety.

'We knew that such circumstances may arise. So, a fortnight ago I had asked the officials in the districts to start counselling of migrants. Now, there is fear and anxiety in workers who are left out as a few states are not ready to accept inter-state transfer,” said Niraj K. Pawan, Principal Secretary, Labour Department.

Pawan, who has a clinical psychology background, said a large number of migrants from Bihar and Telangana are stranded in Rajasthan and want to go back to their homes and do not eat food. In such a case, the department is counselling them and assuring the workers that soon they will also be able to go their homes. PTI AG  RDM RDM