Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday announced that Rs 1,000 would be credited in the accounts of the migrant labourers who are stranded in other states, amid the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"Today, we have decided that Rs 1,000 would be deposited in every labourer's account. I appeal to all the migrated labourers that there is no need to worry. In case, more money is required, the money shall be credited in the accounts. In the times of trouble, the government stands in solidarity with you all," Mr Chouhan, who took oath as Chief Minister on March 23, told news agency ANI.
Apart from the depositing of money to the labourers' accounts, Mr Chouhan said that he is in talks with chief ministers of other states to arrange food and water for migrant labourers.
"Many workers of Madhya Pradesh are stranded in other states and are unable to return homes due to the extension of the national lockdown. We have even spoken to other state chief ministers as well for the workers' accommodation and food," he added.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation, announced the extension of the lockdown till May 3 to stop the further spread of COVID-19.
In order to ensure that money is transferred into the accounts, Mr Chouhan requested all MPs and MLAs to maintain a database of all the labourers stranded in other areas so that accounts are created and the money is deposited.
As labourers find it difficult to find work after the harvesting season is over, the Chief Minister said that in view of the situation, arrangements for their food would be made as well.
"I have instructed all collectors to make arrangements for the labourers. There should not be a shortage of ration for them as well," he stated.
Speaking on labourers not having ration cards, Mr Chouhan said, "We would provide two-month ration free of cost -- five kg for every person. But if people do not have ration cards, they would also be given ration cards as well."
"We will not let our brothers and sisters go hungry in this time of crisis," he added.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 730 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state so far, out of which 51 patients have recovered and 50 have succumbed to the virus.