Covid-19 Pandemic: Workers start returning to their village again as lockdown likely to be placed in Maharashtra

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Last year, a large number of workers were forced to return to the village due to the lockdown (file photo)

Mumbai:

Maharashtra Corona case update: in Maharashtra Increased cases of corona In view of this, the state government has announced lockdown in many stringent rules and weekends, but the workers are upset with this announcement of the government. Workers working in the powerloom of Bhiwandi do not want to repeat the problem of lockdown last year and many people are also preparing to go to the village. Powerloom laborer Jeetlal Vishwakarma says, “I will not starve here, I will run as long as I can, I will not die of starvation if I run, I will go to the village, what will I do, and I do not even have the same status in the village that I can sit and eat.” This time also we have said that if this happens, then we are planning to go in advance. The villagers have said that they should be ready. He says, ‘Last time the owners helped. Nobody is talking to help right now.

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About six and a half lakh workers work in the powerloom mill in Bhiwandi area adjoining Mumbai. In the lockdown that took place last year, a large number of workers migrated and hence this year, many workers are considering to flee again after the increasing cases in Maharashtra, following the stringent rules and weekend lockdown. Jeetlal himself reached the village with his family by truck last year, for which he had to spend about 12 thousand rupees. This time, after the rules are tightened, he is preparing to go back to the village again with his family..Jitlal says, ‘I had my own house that he sold too due to the lockdown. I am staying in rent.

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Isar Ansari, who works in the mill itself, took a ticket to Lucknow for fear of lockdown last week and on Wednesday, he is going to the village with his four companions by train. Israar has told, ‘It is heard that if the lockdown is about to happen, then the weak man who is going to go to the village of fear, because livelihood will stop here. When Seth will have work, then he will keep us here and when he does not earn, then who will feed him. ‘ Millions of laborers working in Bhiwandi stay away from their families and many stay in powerloom mills. Most of the people eat food in Bhishi, which is a kind of small dhaba. They give 1800 rupees for lunch and dinner throughout the month, but now it will also be closed in weekend lockdown on Saturday-Sunday. In such a situation, the workers do not know where they will eat their food. Even the bosses are saying that the migration of laborers has increased. Dhaba owner Kaner Ansari said, ‘We had 120 men eating our food. Due to the lockdown, now there are only 60 eaters left. They are asking where they will eat. Where will these people eat food, the government should make some arrangements for them.

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Due to the exodus of many workers, many powerloom mills have also been closed in Bhiwandi. The mill owners are also saying that like last time they do not have the money to stop the workers. Says Ishtiaq Ansari, a mill owner, “At the moment 50 per cent of the workers have left, and now on 10th, when we will give salary to the people, after that the employee is not ready to stop.” Our situation is such that the loom has not started yet and if the government lockdown then we have no money to stop them, make arrangements for their food and drink. Overall, Bhiwandi’s powerloom industry is slowly becoming empty in a similar way. The workers are now scared and they want to go back to their village once again. There have been many appeals from the government many times, but last time people faced a lot of trouble which they do not want to do this time. So, despite all the appeals this time, if these people are not going now, at least they have made up their mind that if the situation gets bad then they will migrate to their village.

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