How Chennai Said Bye Bye To 1 Lakh Migrant Workers In A Month

In the month that went by, Chennai Corporation has sent more than 1 lakh guest workers back home by 79 Shramic trains (booking one train costs Rs. 20 lakh) to 17 different states. There are about 3,000 migrant workers in Corporation relief centers in the city, waiting to go back home in June second week.
When the Corporation began intensifying the operations to send these workers back home, the word spread very quickly. Migrant workers from in and around Chennai, neighboring districts and even neighboring states walked all the way to the city, seeking to return to their states. The Corporation has spent close to Rs 10 crore on transporting them. It provided them with water and food for the complete journey.
Only about 25 per cent of the migrant workers wanting to go home remain now. A lot of them are now reluctant to go back since the economy has kick started and they got back their jobs. In the beginning they were given 15 kg rice, 1 kg dal and 1 litre oil per four people. Since, they don't consume a lot of rice, they could not eat properly. Then it was changed to 5 kg atta, 5 kg rice, 1 ltr oil, 1 kg sugar, 2 kgs of different varieties of dal and other essential spices.
 Other challenges that the civic body faced include convincing those in the relief centers to stay back till a train is arranged, rescuing migrant workers from roads and giving them the confidence that they will be sent back home.
Another issue is that the Corporation sends a text message of the confirmed ticket to the migrant workers. Instead of just them coming, they get their acquaintances too requesting to go back home. So, instead of 500 people who have confirmed train tickets, 5,000 would be waiting at the station. However, currently comparatively very few migrant workers are left and efforts are on to send them back home.

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