Tulshi Phukan, hailing from Tinsukia finds himself in a situation where he is out of work and with no money. He is a migrant worker who is not even contractually paid and gets his money on a first cum first basis when there’s work. He is not the only one as there are more than 100 who work in Hoogly district of West Bengal in such an arrangement.
Ever since the lockdown, these workers have found themselves in a difficult position. The work has dried up as the warehouses and factories remain close. Along with that, they have to bear the aggressive tone of their landowners who even forced a few of them, including girls to leave their apartments as they were unable to pay the rent.
Currently, these people are crowded in small rooms and social distancing is a thing they can’t afford.
They had initially contacted the local police station which offered no help to them. Finally, they communicated to the Assam government after trying through one of their helpline numbers. They were asked to send their application about their problems through WhatsApp and received a confirmation that their query has been received. However, they secured no further communication from the government end.
With no work, most of them are out of cash and only a few of them have received the monetary remuneration of Rs 2000 from the state government. The West Bengal government authorities too have not considered their pleas. In such hardships, the stranded have taken to media to request the Assam government to provide them safe passage back home.
Meanwhile, few have arranged money among them to travel back home through private arrangements. Around 15 of them have got the e-pass. The private arrangements for the travel costs around Rs 4000, which has also become a concern for this out of work workers.