Yogi’s UP: A heaven on earth for migrants in testing times! Harvard study testifies it

Lucknow: Dealing with the unforeseen challenges caused during the time of coronavirus pandemic has taken a significant toll on people all across the globe.

Though the lockdown and pandemic crisis have impacted everyone economically and emotionally, the migrants were one of the groups that were highly affected and suffered at different levels.

Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the one state that has handled the migrant crisis most adroitly. No wonder, it earned the praise of international community on several times during the ongoing crisis.

The study conducted by Harvard’s University highlights the humanitarian crisis of migrant labourers that unfolded and focuses on how efficiently Uttar Pradesh handled the migrant crisis amidst the worst health crisis in about a century.

The Yogi government worked towards the multifold agenda of providing transportation facilities, delivering ration kits, and running healthcare centres for outbreak prevention.

 

They mainly relied on daily wages for survival and no work meant no food and basic necessities for them. Coming to their rescue, the Yogi-led Uttar Pradesh government announced schemes to provide free ration to the migrants.

The report of Harvard dealt with at length the ‘model’ of Yogi government as to how the economy of migrants was taken care of through a combined mechanism of prevention from pandemic, sustenance of their families, employment arrangements along with skill mapping and other logistics.

The challenge that UP faced during the migrant crisis was multifold. At first, the state formulated a plan to ensure the safe return of migrants. Apart from that, bringing back migrants led to creating additional challenges in terms of overcrowding of the labour markets at home, which was tackled by creating employment opportunities. The government of Uttar Pradesh in consonance with the central government took a holistic approach towards addressing the crisis.

The leaders of the Uttar Pradesh government reached out to the migrants and developed a mechanism for their safe return. They provided buses and train services for stranded migrants, arrangedaaaaàaaaaà transportation facilities for within-state travel, and made efforts to publicise the schemes of the government that can help migrants in the time of such crisis.

Transportation Facilities

The government collaborated with Indian railways and arranged 1604 trains and brought back over 21 lakh migrants by the government through Shramik trains i.e. 80 percent of the total migrants who returned to the state.

In addition to this, the government also took the lead in March 2020 in providing buses to 60,525 migrant labourers. In fact, the state government managed to bring back thousands of migrant workers from Delhi within a time span of 24 hours after the borders were sealed on March 28, 2020. Also, round-the-clock free buses were made available for migrants wanting to travel within the state.

Over 35 lakh migrants have used more than 2,600 Shramik Special trains: MHA
Outbreak Prevention

The UP government followed a three-step approach for outbreak prevention – Thermal Screening, Quarantine, and Isolation. The health department formed more than 90,000 screening teams to screen the migrants and other persons, their relatives, and acquaintances if they came in contact with them.

The government also set up as many as 18140 quarantine facilities as per the guidelines issued by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and a total of 15.15 lakh migrants were quarantined at different points in time. The third step was isolation and testing of the migrants with suggestive symptoms.


Basic Sustenance

The Uttar Pradesh government developed two types of ration kits: 15-day ration kit and 7-day ration kit for the migrants. Over 20.67 lakh families availed of these benefits out of which 16.35 lakh were provided with the 15-day ration kit.

Apart from ration kits, the Yogi government also established community kitchens. Also, a total of Rs 1,51,82,67,000 has been transferred to 15.18 lakh migrants.


Healthcare Facilities

The government devised a three-tier system (L1, L2, and L3) to deal with suspected and positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. By June 23, 2020, a total of 403 L1 hospitals, 75 L2 hospitals, and 25 L3 hospitals had been fully set up in the state.

Employment Opportunities

Yogi government has not only taken the above mentioned measures but has also formulated long-term plans to build economic opportunities for migrants closer to home using existing schemes as well as by signing new MoUs. It also conducted skill mapping of the migrants in order to get suitable employment.

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