Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Scaling up the process of emergency services for the stranded, Odisha government on Tuesday mentioned that it has extended help to as many as 40,000 Odia migrant workers stranded in different States due to nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

Following a high-level meeting here, Principal Secretary in the Home department, Sanjiv Chopra, informed, "The control room recently set up for the purpose has received 5,200 distress calls so far. As confirmed by the callers, it is estimated that there are 1.5 lakh Odisha residents stranded without food and proper accommodation. Of these, more than 40000 people have been touched as a result of this initiative."

"In the initial phase, 230 places were identified where more than 100 Odia workers are stranded in each location. The workers who have provided with food and shelter in stranded places have given confirmation to the state government. We are exploring all ways to reach all people in distress," Chopra said.

Read: COVID19: Odisha To Use School, Hostel Buildings As Temporary Shelters For Migrant Workers

On Monday, around 50 families stranded in Vivekanand Nagar in Bengaluru contacted OTV seeking help. All the families expressed gratitude after they were provided with ration and other essential food commodities for 12 days.

BJP national vice-president Jay Panda too is on a mission mode to ensure that the daily wagers do not suffer during this lockdown. Panda has contacted party senior karyakartas across States to assist the stranded Odia residents.

Moments after he requested Bengaluru City Police and Bengaluru South BJP MP Tejasvi Surya to help Odia workers stuck in the city without food, the latter swung into action and provided groceries to all the Odia workers.

In another such instance, Panda sought the help of MoS for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy and other senior officials of Telangana to assist 15 workers from Odisha stranded without food in Begumpet, Hyderabad. Reddy's office got in touch with them, and all necessary food essentials were arranged.

Similarly, around 50 workers from Odisha were stranded without food in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The national BJP spokesperson sought UP CM Yogi Adityanath's help in assisting the daily wage labourers. Emergency help was provided immediately by the authorities.

Panda also requested party senior leaders in Tamil Nadu to arrange food for 25 to 30 migrant workers from Odisha stranded at Tirupur in Pudupalayam.

On Jay Panda's request, ration was provided to 50 odd Odia workers who were stranded in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, tweeted: "I have spoken with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani about stranded Odia workers in his state. The CM has assured me that his government will look after shelter, food and health of stranded Odia workers."

Later in the day, Pradhan thanked the Tamil Nadu government for providing basic amenities to Odia migrants who are in the State.

Also Read: ‘Odisha Govt On Toes For Migrant Workers, Zero Tolerance For Lockdown Violators’

It is to be noted that CM Naveen Patnaik had earlier written to his counterparts in all the States urging them to provide assistance to stranded Odia migrant workers. He also called upon Odia associations to help their brethren who are stranded in their areas.

Patnaik assured his counterparts in other states and the Odia associations that the expenditure incurred in keeping the stranded migrant workers safe will be borne by his government.

The Odisha government, on the other hand, has opened 252 camps to provide shelter and food to 18,000 migrant workers from other states who have been stranded due to the nationwide lockdown.