Migrant workers are guest workers: Odisha govt

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government described the migrant workers as “guest workers” and said arrangements have been made for those stranded in the state due to the lockdown in the wake of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Food and accommodation have been ensured through 1,882 camps for around 56,926 such “guest workers”, said Odisha governments COVID-19 spokesman Subroto Bagchi.

He said the guest workers are being provided food and other basic amenities and doctors are regularly visiting these camps.

Odisha government has opened a call centre (Shramik Sahayata)- 18003456703 for guest workers who need help in the state, Bagchi said.

Apart from food and accommodation, the state government was also providing psycho-social counselling in the camps and medical services through mobile health units have also been extended in few districts. Even fruits and milk for children are also being provided in the migrant workers camps.

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These migrants workers are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Maharastra and other states, an official said.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had requested all the chief ministers to help Odia workers stranded in their states due to the lockdown. Patnaik in a letter to his counterparts in other states had also assured that the Odisha government will bear all the expenses made on the workers from Odisha.

This apart, the chief minister has also appealed to Odia associations in different states to come forward to help the workers stranded in different states. About 2 lakh workers from Odisha are reportedly stranded in other states and unable to return to the state because of the nationwide lockdown.

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Bagchi also said that a total of 3,25,683 destitute and helpless persons in 5,268 gram panchayats and 27,058 persons in 108 urban local bodies (ULBs) within Odisha have been provided with food during the lockdown period.

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