This is a little heartwarming story amongst all the negetive ones we have been hearing about the migrant workers.
I know some watchmen and labourers in my area who I interact with on a regular basis for my streeties.
One such is a watchman at a construction site. He’s from Rajasthan. He hasn’t been paid salary in 3 months.
The labor camp is on the opposite side of the road from the construction site.
Ever since the lockdown, there has been an NGO who has been providing food for the labourers.
When the watchman saw this he approached them and his side of the story is that he was denied. He mentioned that the NGO said that the food was for families and mainly ladies and daily wage workers. Since he was a watchman he did not qualify.
I honestly do not know how much truth there is in that but I believed him when he told me because he looked absolutely helpless. And he’s a good man. He helps me with the doggies. Anyone who is good to animals for no gain of their own warms my heart. So yea, I believe him.
He has been managing somehow till date..I helped him in whatever little way I could too.
This morning he called me to let me know tjau he is on his way to Rajasthan and he wanted to wish me goodbye. I was a bit concerned and asked him why would he want to go back to no work and that I could figure out a way to help him here now knowing that the situation is so bad…but he was already on his way.
On asking him how he plans to travel, he told me something which made me feel quite relieved.
He mentioned that he had applied for a police pass about a week ago. This morning he got a notification and a call from the Police station that arrangements have been made for him to reach Rajasthan.
He was called to the police station where there were about two buses waiting for him and people like him.
The buses took them to the station where they were given a little training session on dos and don’ts. They were handed sanitisers and their tickets.
They were even given meals on the journey.He shared some pictures with me and said
“Madam acchi suvidha hai. Aap tension mat lo.Hum Rajasthan pahunchkar aapko phone karenge” (Madam the arrangements made are good, dont worry, I will call you when I reach Rajasthan)
That warmed my heart. It gave me a little sense of relief and hope that if one follows protocol and does things the right way and takes the right route, things are done. Reaching out to the Police station who in turn followed the Central Government protocol was the right way to do things. He did not panick. He was patient and waited for his turn.
Maybe if all of us do our bit and educate the workers around us and kind of council them, it will help? I don’t know if there are any NGOs for the same but maybe there should be?I think it’s mainly counceling and a bit of help that’s needed from our side as well. Looks like the Central Government is doing something right.
Ps: he sent me some pictures with a lot of excitement, I didn’t feel like asking him for “better” ones. So these are the ones I have 🙂
Farewell Gyan Singh ji! Reach home safe. I hope to see you again!