A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking direction to the centre to redress the plight of thousands of migrant workers who along with their families are "walking on foot" to reach their native places amid the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown across the country.
The plea has also sought a direction to the authorities to identify such stranded migrant workers and provide them with food, water, medicines and proper medical facilities.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, the petitioner in the case, has said in his plea that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 24 announced a 21-day lockdown to fight COVID-19 and control its spread.
"The petitioner completely agrees that such lockdown is very much essential for controlling the spread of the deadly coronavirus," the plea said, adding that the "biggest sufferers" in this situation of crisis are the poor and unregistered migrant workers who worked in big cities across the country.
"With Railways and buses suspended, several of such migrant workers are walking for kilometres to reach their villages. Many are unable to make it across state borders and thus are left stranded on roads, without food, water or shelter. There is a large-scale human distress," the plea said.
It said that such migrant workers should be identified by the authorities and immediately shifted to the nearest government shelter homes so that proper food, water, medicines and medical supervision is provided to them till the lockdown continues.