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NLSIU Alumni (Migrant Mazdoor Program) Seeks Intervention In Suo Moto Case Registered By The Supreme Court On Plight Of Migrants

5 Jun 2020 5:06 AM GMT
NLSIU Alumni (Migrant Mazdoor Program) Seeks Intervention In Suo Moto Case Registered By The Supreme Court On Plight Of Migrants
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The NLS Migrant Mazdoor Program, an initiative of a few alumni of the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, has sought intervention in the suo motu case registered by the Supreme Court on the plight of migrants in the country during the lockdown.

The application will be taken up by the Supreme Court today.

The applicant-organization highlights that the Government has failed to provide for any "uniform plan of action" for ensuring smooth and systematic ferrying of the migrant workers to their native places.

They have thus sought intervention to put forth certain suggestions that would assist the Central and the State Governments in effectively deploying resources to assist the distressed migrants.

They've suggested:

  • To alleviate the concern of the migrants with regard to payment of fare and schedule of the trains and Intra state transport during movement, the Central Govt. should pay the fare, and the State Govts. should be at liberty to seek as many Shramik Trains as is necessary to transport the stranded migrants, without having to face financial difficulties;
  • The Indian Railways should ensure that there is adequate supply of basic amenities like food, water and sanitisation on the Shramik Trains and the cost for providing such amenities should be borne by the Railways itself;
  • The ordinary schedule of Railways as it operated before the national lockdown was announced on account of the pandemic should be brought back to effect, so that not only are there trains as per a prescribed schedule but the options available to the migrant workers are known to them in a pre-planned manner without any last minute confusion or chaos;
  • The Aviation Turbine Fuel which contributes significantly to the transport cost of flights along with other such cess levied should be appropriately waived/ subsidized for all relief flights involved in the evacuation of the stranded migrants. Further, the Ministry of Civil Aviation should ensure that this benefit is passed on to the migrant passengers;
  • A one stop Call centre operating 24X7 should be set up by the collaboration of the Central Govt and the States along with the Indian Railways wherein the State Governments and Civil Society Organisations can send the lists of all the migrants registered with them, and who should then be engaged in actively calling the stranded migrants round the clock giving them information and travel options available to them as organized by the Govt;
  • Information about availability of Flights, Shramik trains and buses should also be disseminated through Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, TikTok etc.

The NLS Mazdoor Program is comprised of a group of private individuals who are working towards rescuing the distressed migrants and ensuring their transportation to their native states, through a program christened "Aahan Vaahan".

In their first successful transit operation, the alumni became the first group of private individuals who leased a chartered plane and rescued 174 distressed migrants and workers.

They have also started an initiative namely "Serving the Shramiks" aimed at providing passengers of the Shramik trains with basic amenities like food and water on trains on certain specified routes.

In this backdrop the Applicant states that the suggestions put forth by them have already proven successful in their private concerted efforts to assist migrants and the same may be immediately adopt by the Government.

The Applicant will be represented by Advocates Mithu Jain, Ashwin Ramanathan and Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan.

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