46 migrant workers from Assam forced to sleep under flyover before finding shelter at Asan Memorial College of Arts and Science in Chennai amid COVID-19 lockdown
Guwahati: Over 4 lakh migrant workers from Assam are still stranded across the country due to the nationwide lockdown. Among them is 31-year-old Ranjit Provel from Jamugurihat in Assam’s Sonitpur district who has been working in Tamil Nadu for the past 12 years but now stranded in the southern city of Chennai in Tamul Nadu without a single penny in his pocket.
Provel last visited home in March this year before returning to Chennai on 18th of the same month. Soon, he was confined to his rented house after a nationwide lockdown was announced. Unable to pay the rent ever since, Provel was asked to vacate the house and was told that train services for migrant workers have been arranged from Assam Bhawan in the southern state’s capital.
“I and some of my friends from Assam came to Assam Bhawan on May 19 but we were told that it has been sealed and were asked to go to Guru Nanak College in Velachery. Even there, we were not allowed to take shelter but on the way we met several others from Assam who are homeless like us and have nowhere to go,” Provel mentioned in a telephonic conversation with EastMojo.
Provel along with around 45 others -- most of them from Assam’s Sonitpur, Golaghat and Nagaon districts -- are now taking shelter in Asan Memorial College of Arts and Science in Pallikaranai in Chennai. Without a single penny in their pocket, the group which also includes a 65-year-old, is now desperately waiting for the government to provide a helping hand.
“Before reaching here, we had to sleep under a flyover. There were also women with us but no one provided any help since we are a large group. It was a woman lawyer who somehow found us and helped us in finding shelter in this college. We have been served food here and the toilet facility is also good. We have submitted our documents for verification and have been told that we will be screened tomorrow. Now our only hope is the government to help us reach home,” Provel added.