The Rajasthan government on Sunday announced a 15-day lockdown in the state till May 3. Following the announcement, fear of job loss and uncertainty about livelihood drove migrant workers in the state to get back to their hometowns in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Even though the lockdown order allowed industries and factories to function in order to prevent migration of labour, the recollection of the 2020 lockdown was enough for the migrant workers to start heading home.
India Today TV spoke to several home-bound workers at the Jaipur junction. The workers mentioned that due to lockdown, several Industries and businesses, including hospitality, catering and hotel industries were facing a severe crisis.
Manoj, a 32-year-old from Bihar’s Gaya district, was one of the numerous workers who had to return home during the nationwide lockdown in 2020, as they had little in terms of relief or ration coming their way. Manoj had returned to Jaipur only recently when once again lockdown threatens his livelihood.
Manoj said, “I am returning to my home district of Gaya in Bihar as the work I used to do is no longer happening in Jaipur. In the hotel industry, work is no longer happening. I have been told that my services are no longer required. I will be returning to Jaipur if restrictions are no longer there. There is a fear factor also because of which people are returning.”
Another worker, 28-year-old Rohit Kumar Rai, a resident of Dhanbad in Jharkhand, is all set to return to his hometown as well.
Rohit mentioned, “People are scared as to what will happen if circumstances that existed last year, emerge once again. People do not want to walk hundreds of kilometres again to return to their homes and that is why they are returning now.”
Rai worked in the catering business which is facing a severe slump due to lockdown. The jobs in the industry were being retrenched and services were being curtailed, as the catering business, linked with the hospitality and hotel industry, has been facing a major crisis due to the lockdown.
LOCKDOWN IN RAJASTHAN
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the state, the Rajasthan government on Sunday announced a two-week strict lockdown in the state from April 19 to May 3.
Essential services, including banking, grocery shops, dairy shops, pharmacies, vegetable and fruit vendors will be allowed to operate.
The decision to impose 15-day lockdown in the state was taken after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot chaired a meet on Sunday to review the Covid-19 situation in the state.
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