Union govt completely clueless on deaths, job losses among stranded labourers during Covid

New Delhi: The Union government today admitted in Parliament that it was completely clueless on how many stranded labourers died trudging their way back through locked down states, or even how much ration (state-wise) had been provided to them during the period. The government doesn’t even have data on the job losses among such labourers during this period.

Replying to a written question, the government told Parliament today that there was no such data available.

The answers were provided by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The reply said that the government has not maintained state-wise break-up of distribution of free ration to migrant workers.

The question was pointed: Did thousands of labourers died during coronavirus lockdown? The government gave an equally pointed reply: "No such data is available."

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There was a second part to the question, which asked whether the government failed to assess problems faced by migrant labourers during the lockdown. The government’s reply was vague:

"India, as a nation, has responded through the central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, resident welfare associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as large number of genuine and bonafide nongovernmental organisations in the nation's fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and country-wide lockdown."

-India Legal Bureau