Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appealed to the general public and his party workers and ministers to provide food and shelter to the homebound migrants moving on foot passing through their towns, cities and villages.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said: “Today, hundreds of our brothers and sisters, along with their hungry and thirsty families have to move towards their villages. On this difficult path of theirs, those of you who are capable enough, provide them with food, shelter and water.
“The appeal to help the needy is particularly from Congress workers and leaders,” he said.
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Since Wednesday, scores of migrant workers have been spotted at Delhi-Ghaziabad border who were on their way home on foot crossing miles after miles. Many of them are apprehensive of the situation after the sudden announcement of the 21-day lockdown while others are sent on leave by their contractors.
Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law and businessman Robert Vadra wrote on Facebook: “I feel terrible for the poor people, who have no food or place to stay and with the sudden coronavirus lockdown had no healthy shelter and forced to travel back to their villages.”
The post further read, “There are elderly, women, and little children who are walking back for kilometres, as there are no vehicles to transport them, and pay their savings to put the elderly in rickshaws or in these unsafe concoction of a vehicle called a ‘Jugaad’, and travel for days.”
“I request the central government, and state governments to help these people, and I am finding ways as well if authorities can help these people at adjoining borders assist them to get home, in the safest and healthiest ways,” Vadra wrote.
The Centre has imposed a nationwide shutdown for 21 days in the wake of the highly contagious coronavirus outbreak that has already infected more than 800 in India. Government has urged people to stay indoors and aggressively practice social distancing. However, the scene of desperate migrant workers fleeing the national capital and other metro cities have had no parallel.