New Delhi, May 6: Civil society organizations on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Railways should not charge for tickets on the special trains being run to transport migrant workers back to their homes amid the coronavirus-forced lockdown.
They said all travel must be free and food expenses should be borne by the state.
The civil society organizations, who have come together to form ‘National Campaign for Migrant Workers’, demanded that the migrant workers returning home be provided an ex-gratia of Rs 7,000 in lieu of the wages lost due of the lockdown.
They also appealed to the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue directions to withdraw FIRs against migrant workers filed in places such as Surat, Mumbai, and Hyderabad where workers protested to be allowed to go home.
“The protests were an expression of genuine distress,,” they said.
The campaign also urged the MHA to withdraw the May 2 order, clarifying the definition of stranded workers.
The Home Ministry had on Sunday made it clear that the relaxations given for the movement of people during the lockdown was available only to distressed migrant workers.
It clarified that the order is not applicable to those categories of persons who are otherwise residing normally at places other than native places for purposes of work etc and those who wish to visit their native place in normal course. (PTI)