Bihar govt helps its migrant workers to tide over COVID-19 crisis

Akhilesh Suman

File Photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

File Photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Bihar is making special efforts to enable its migrant worker population to stay where ever they are.

The state has set up a Bihar Information Centre in Delhi as a nodal centre at the office of the Resident Commissioner of the Bihar government to address the needs of this section of its population.

Three phone lines, 011-23792009, 011-23014326 and 011-23013884, have been set up in Delhi to help out state residents in any COVID-19 related emergency. A toll free number 18003456138 is available for any assistance for the labourers from Bihar. State officials say all these numbers are functional 24×7.

One of the major initiatives that Bihar government took was to transfer money to the migrant workers. According to a Bihar Bhawan press release, Rs 1000 was transferred to around 2 lakh workers who applied for the assistance.

According to Lokesh Jha, a senior official at the Bihar Resident Commissioner’s office, problems of over 7,21,301 Bihar residents living outside the state have been addressed.

“Three types of problems are being addressed at the moment including food, residence and treatment,” said Jha, adding that some cases of emergency evacuation had also been carried out from cities like Hyderabad, Udhampur, Surat and Tamil Nadu.

According to a rough estimate, almost 4 crore people from Bihar are living outside the state doing various jobs. One crore are wage labourers. Around 1,70,000 labours returned to the state after the lock down.

Bihar has also started a Bihar Corona virus assistance app to extend monetary help to labourers living outside the state.

In Delhi, the Resident commissioner’s office has opened 10 centres in Delhi where food is served to people. These centres at Badarpur, Sonia vihar, Palam colony, Aya Nagar, Kirari, Shakarpur, Shakrpur Kali Mandir, Burari, Burai Bengali colony, and Govindpuri have found a good response.