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Fishermen & Migrant Workers Stranded In Gujarat Writes To PM

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5000 migrant workers/ fishermen who are stranded in state of Gujarat on the shore of Arabian Sea at Veral, Somnath have written a letter to Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Home Minister,National Legal Service Authority, CM of Gujarat, CM of AP and Chief Justice of Gujarat. The Letter highlights that due to non- implementation of guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs, migrant fishermen from State of Andhra Pradesh are facing pathetic conditions and are neglected by Gujarat Government officials. Fishermen have requested for providing quarantine, water facilities and transportation to their native places. 

The fishermen belonging to Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh have been stranded for more than 20 days on the shore of Arabian sea as fishing activity has been stopped due to Covid-19. 

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued following guidelines dated 29.3.2020 for poor and needy people including migrant labourers stranded due to lockdown:- 

“i. State/ Union Territory Governments shall ensure adequate arrangements of temporary shelters and provisions of food etc. for the poor and needy people, including migrant labourers, stranded due to lockdown measures in their respective areas. 

ii. The Migrant people, who have moved out to reach their home states/home towns, must be kept in the nearest shelter by the respective State/Union Territory Government quarantine facilities after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days as per standard health protocol. 

iii. All the employers, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payments of wagers of their workers, at their work places, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown.”

Fishermen from Andhra Pradesh are not provided help by district authorities of Somnath District of Gujarat. Team of officials from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh had visited the place and provided 5 KGs rice, one soap, one blanket, mask, half KG each of Onions, Dal, Potato. Except help from Andhra Pradesh government, no help came from  Gujarat government because of which fishermen are living in  pathetic conditions. 

Local administration is not allowing them to enter into villages due to Covid 19 Lockdown and they are living with minimum provisions given by boat owners. Fishermen are staying in small fishing boats under Hot Sun/Heat wave and no water, electricity is available for drinking, bathing and washing of cloths. They submitted that 3500 Migrant fishermen from Maharashtra were taken back on sea route recently by the Maharashtra State government. 

They have requested for provision of quarantine, shelter, food, water as interim facilities and 7-8 Getty or 2-3 cargo ships for going back through sea route or buses/train to back through road/rail. 

There would  be a very serious threat to lives of fishermen as per their letter because of lack of food, water and Hot Sun/Heat Wave.  

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