Amidst the increasing COVID-19 cases and the lockdown imposed to check its spread, the Kerala government has extended a helping hand to migrant laborers in the state by distributing over 70,000 free food kits to them.
The officials under the state Department of Labour were busy identifying deserving beneficiaries among the 'guest workers', how migrant workers are called in the state, and providing them the food kits, which comprises essential provision.
The Left government had decided to extend free food kits to migrant workers also along with the state people considering their plight due to the pandemic and lockdown. As per the instructions of the Chief Minister, Labour Commissioner S Chithra is in charge of giving daily supervision instructions to theDepartment officials for the implementation of the scheme.
Over 70,000 food kits have already been distributed to migrant workers in all the 14 districts across the state, official sources said here.
The distribution is being carried out in full swing by the Labour Department in collaboration with the district administrations and Local Self Government Departments. The kits are distributed as per the numbers reported by the concerned Regional Joint Labour Commissioners of each district to the Labour Commissioner.
The kits for distribution were made available by the Civil Supplies Department based on submitting of requests and numbers required. As many as 14,721 kits were received in the district labor offices from the Kollam region that includes the districts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram, an official statement said here.
Of the kits available till May 19, 14,706 kits have been distributed to migrant workers in the region, said Kollam Regional Joint Labour Commissioner Shankar.
Out of the 31,330 kits received in the Ernakulam Central Region, which includes Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Palakkad districts, all the kits have been distributed.
Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod, Wayanad, and Malappuram districts have been allotted 25,423 out of the 25,454 food kits required in the Kozhikode North region, said Regional Joint Labour Commissioner M G Suresh.
Of the food kits available for plantation workers under plantation inspectors, 3,171 have been distributed till Wednesday in Mananthavady, Aluva, Nemmara, Peerumedu, Pathanamthitta, Vandanmedu, Manjeri, Kalpetta, and Munnar, it said.
Chief Inspector of Plantations R Pramod said steps are being taken to distribute the 710 remaining food kits. Besides the distribution of food kits, strict measures have been taken for mass vaccination in the plantation areas also, sources said.
Migrant workers are also being made aware of the need for vaccination in Kollam, Ernakulam and Kozhikode labour regions and plantation areas. The Department of Labour has also issued notices including the numbers of the call centre and help desks to migrant workers in Hindi, Tamil, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, and Telugu.
Domestic care centers have been set up in various districts to house migrant workers and their families in case of Covid infection. With the help of the district administrations, such centers will provide treatment and accommodation to the migrant workers who become Covid positive.
The Labour Commissioner has directed the District Labour Officers to find places in coordination with the local bodies to ensure such facilities in all the districts.
As many as 1,88,945 migrant workers have been identified in the organized and unorganized sectors across the state through the data collection conducted by the Labour Department, the department sources added.