We are bringing back migrant workers to Madhya Pradesh, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan


Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday advised a bunch of migrant labourers who had returned home from other States to isolate themselves for 14 days, maintain social distancing and follow the lockdown. 

Interacting with labourers who had returned from Rajasthan and Gujarat in buses arranged by the State government, Mr. Chouhan, through videoconferencing, said, “Please keep distance from your family members at home, and stay separately. Wear masks and wash hands frequently. Follow the lockdown completely.”

One of the labourers told Mr. Chouhan, “We were eager to return home though we were getting food and were provided with stay there. We were missing our families.”

Full coverage | Lockdown displaces lakhs of migrants

Raju, a resident of Alirajpur district who had returned from Gujarat, said, “We had been stuck in Navsari for a month. I am extremely happy to return home.” Mr. Chouhan also interacted with residents of Shivpuri, Sheopur, Guna and Vidisha districts who had returned from Rajasthan. 

On Saturday, Mr. Chouhan had announced the State government was making arrangements to bring back its native labourers stuck in different States in buses.

Also read | M.P. writes to Maharashtra on migrants

“We will not let them walk,” he said. “We have seen them walk back home on roads and rail tracks in the heat. They must be a worried lot. So, we will make all arrangements for their travel, send them back to their villages in buses.” 

Before boarding buses, the labourers would be screened for illnesses. “I request all villagers to behave in a humane way with them. The returnees will be home quarantined,” he said. 

“I have received several phone calls from individuals in different States wanting to come back. We have arranged for e-passes for them so that they could return using their own transport,” he said. 

As for those in the State eager to bring back their relatives and children from elsewhere, he said, “Even they have been issued passes to bring them back, only if they are medically fit.”

“But people in Indore, Bhopal and Ujjain can’t leave,” he said. Striking a word of caution, Mr. Chouhan said though the government was taking such steps, it was doing so keeping the strategy to contain the virus in mind.

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