Govindankutty from Kerala
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani’s timely intervention saved as many as 35 migrant workers who were left stranded in Karuvarakundu in Malappuram district, Kerala, amid Coronavirus lockdown.
The plight of the migrant workers came to light after two of them sought the help of their friends in Amethi, the constituency of Union Minister Smriti Irani. As soon as the issue came to the notice of Amethi MP Smt Smriti Irani, her office coordinated with the External Affairs Minister Shri Muralidheeran’s office and the Kerala unit of Sewa Bharati on March 30.
On the same day, Sewa Bharati reached out to the labourers and ensured them an uninterrupted supply of food. Sewa Bharati workers of Karuvarakundu Panchayat spotted the location within 30 mins after they received the information on March 30. Sewa Bharati provided the affected labourers with rice bags and other grocery items. Speaking to Organiser, Sewa Bharati local volunteers said that they would take care of the workers and supply essential food-grocery items whenever it is needed in the coming days also.
The office of Smriti Irani had handed over a list fifteen people to the office of Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs Shri V Muraleedharan, who is from Kerala. Both the ministries coordinated with the Sewa Bharati state leadership to reach out to the stranded people.
“We got the information at around 2 pm, we reached the spot before 2.30 pm. Along with the 15 people on the list, we found 20 more people stranded in the other camps. Two of them are from Amethi. Others are from other states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam and West Bengal,” a Sewa Bharati karyakarta who visited the place told Organiser.
All of them were deprived of food for three days as their agent left them to their fate after convincing them that the Panchayat authorities would take care of them. “As their names were not included in the list, they were denied free food,” he said.
“A few kilograms of rice and daal were their sole demand. However, we bought them a sufficient quantity of rice, essential groceries and vegetables. And we informed this to the local police and made all arrangements to bring them food from a nearby community kitchen from the next day onwards,” he said. The Sewa Bharati workers are in constant touch them. The RSS inspired service organisation has assigned a local volunteer with the responsibility to look after their needs and ensure that they get food until the lockdown ends.
There were protests at various parts of the state as the migrant workers in the state were left with no adequate food. Even though the state government made tall claims that it would ensure migrant workers are being taken care of, the community kitchen system at the panchayat level often fails to deliver adequate food to the needy as the entire network is highjacked by the CPM workers.
Karuvarakundu is a part of Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, from where Amethi’s Ex-MP Rahul Gandhi contested and won the 2019 General Elections. However, Rahul Gandhi has not visited his Wayanad constituency since December 2019.