In a letter written by Dr. Mathai, he has urged the government to act swiftly & decisively to alleviate the plight of this group who are dismissively referred to as migrants.
Mumbai| Dr.Abraham Mathai, the Chairman-Harmony Foundation & Former Vice Chairman Minorities Commission, has highlighted the grave situation migrants are facing in the Navi Mumbai area. In a letter written by Dr. Mathai, he has urged the government to act swiftly decisively to alleviate the plight of this group who are dismissively referred to as migrants.
At the beginning of his letter, Dr. Mathai said, “Over the last two months, the situation of migrant workers across the nation has received widespread attention. And though the government may feel that it has aided to lessen their pain, like always all it has done is put a band-aid on a burn. It was only after the pleading of over thousands of destitute workers for over two months that the government has attempted to solve the crisis of transportation by providing buses and opening up the railways. This too has come with a lot of restrictions and preconditions which is making it difficult for them to obtain permissions and delaying the process to go back. However, it has also failed to provide medical assistance to these thousands that are in need!”
Taking the attention towards the migrant mothers and babies they have delivered amid the crisis prevailing in the country right now, Dr. Mathai wrote, Yesterday, I was informed of the scene outside the Balaji Theater under the flyover in Koperkhairne, Navi Mumbai, where migrant workers are stranded and left to fend for themselves with absolutely no money or work in their hands. Here, about 20 children are dwelling on the street pavements with their parents of which 15 are under the age of 8 years and 3 were born as recent as two and three weeks ago under the flyover under the most unhygienic circumstances.”
“These infants were delivered under the flyover as they lacked access to any medical facility as hospitals denied them admissions due to Covid19. These infants are weak with skin infections and are undernourished due to a lack of proper food and other medical resources. Since there is no work available, parents can’t fend for themselves or the children and we will now try and do to provide for them their immediate needs,” he further added.
Mumbai has highest number of coronavirus cases across the country. Many have complained about the lack of beds and facilities to treat the patients showing symptoms of Covid-19 or are battling other diseases. Stressing over the same, the former vice president of minority commission said, “While government and private hospitals are crowded with COVID 19 patients, some of whom aren’t getting beds either, what are the odds of these mothers getting a chance at a bed and treatment for themselves as their babies?”
Dr. Mathai argued that providing the migrant workers with transportation facilities to return back to their hometown doesn’t alleviate their abysmal and precarious conditions at all.
He said, “The fact of the matter is that they are the backbone of the economy of the city as well as the vital cog on which it revolves around. Providing them with transport with preconditions to return back to their place of origin after much pressure from certain quarters doesn’t alleviate their abysmal and precarious conditions at all. The well to do from affluent backgrounds who were stranded abroad had flights provided for them to return home.”
“On the other end of the spectrum, it is sad to note that those who literally labour and toil for the well being of the city are just being treated like the scum of the metro and discarded like dregs and refuse. Human lives should be regarded as sacred at all times even during a pandemic and that is what should distinguish us in the world of today as a society which is humane and caring towards those in unfortunate circumstances,” he further added.