An Insight of “Speak Up India”

The nation could feel the agony and suffering of the distressed migrant labourers moving from different parts of the country to their native place in Bihar, UP and West Bengal. Thousands of the migrant workers walking by foot, kart and rickshaw amidst unspeakable state-sponsored torture. The entire country is deeply upset to see the chilling visuals of how stranded migrant workers are being treated as many of them died midway due to starvation, suffocation and ill-treatment by the railway. Considering the momentous human rights crisis especially against the migrant workers, employees of MSME sector and agricultural labourers of rural area due to unprecedented Covid19 crisis, the Congress party has appealed to the union government to unlock its treasury and release financial support to the people immediately.

Launching the “Speak Up India” programme through different social media platform Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the party has pitched for the immediate release of financial support to tide over the difficulties faced by the lakhs of migrants’ workers, farmers and poor employee who were solely rest on the government aided ration, subsidy and other welfare schemes. Looking at the specifics of this ambitious economic revival scheme “Speak Up India”, its design and key policies are quite convincing. It appears that this proposed policy document is viable and effective solution for reviving economy aiming to ameliorating the crisis faced by the migrant workers in this unprecedented crisis. The main demand of this policy documents is to restore economy and provide immediate relief for poor and migrants workers. The Congress party has urged the BJP led NDA government to provide:

1. Immediately transfer ₹7,500 to every migrant worker and poor family for the next six months.

2. Immediately transfer cash of ₹10,000 to tide over the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

3. Ensure free and safe transport and ration for all poor and migrant workers at least for six months. Who have been stuck at various places in India.

4.  Ensure 200 days of employment to all poor/ labours of village area under MNREGA, after their return to village.

The party alleged that at this Covid19 crisis the insensitive treatment meted out to migrants’ workers will be remembered in Indian history. Due to harsh lockdown, the migrant’s workers were the worst affected, they largely associated in unorganised employment and the primary victims of the present crisis. The government should consider the demands of “Speak Up India” and ensure convenient facilities to the migrants’ workers so that they can return safely and survive. At this unprecedent situation, millions of employments lost, industries destroyed and lakhs of manufacturing units shut down and peasants’ class were forced to sell their valuables to meet their daily expenses. The whole world has witnessed this pain and agony of the millions of migrants’ workers and reports of their death routinely making headlines in the global media. The mainstream loyal media outlets never show the exact and real situation on the ground but the alternative media and social media is full of migrants’ distress stories and their misery.

Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi also expressed the hollow assurance of 20 Lakh Crore economic package and termed it simply an eyewash. Ms. Gandhi said that loan will not help, today the need of the hour is people need money to meet their daily expenses. Hence the demand of doubling the working days of MNREGA i.e. 200 days in a year is genuine and must be accepted.  The party lambasted against the Modi government’s so-called economic package for MSME and pathetic service of railway. She also stated that present migration crisis is unprecedented as first time such large scale of workers forced to walk thousands of kilometres without having food, water and medicines and their pain and sobs were well felt by every citizen of this country except the union government.

Dr Narender Nagarwal

Assistant Professor (Sr. Scale) Campus Law Centre Faculty of Law, University of Delhi

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