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Governments responsible for Aurangabad train tragedy

Governments responsible for Aurangabad train tragedy
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The latest tragedy that has befallen the rural migrants in the form of a train accident is yet another example of how callous governments inflict pain on the society

The latest tragedy that has befallen the rural migrants in the form of a train accident is yet another example of how callous governments inflict pain on the society.

About 20 migrants were walking down to their native places in the absence of any transportation and being cold shouldered by the Centre as well as State governments.

They were so exhausted to even seek the safety of an open ground to sleep and had fallen asleep on the railway tracks when a goods train simply rumbled over them leaving 15 migrants dead and one seriously injured.

This is not any other accident. While the whole country is battling the deadly coronavirus, the rural migrants have been battling government apathy and the employers' indifference. The fact that no government is even willing to provide them shelter and food at their workplaces or talk to them and explain the dangers involved in moving back to their native places in the time of the pandemic itself is a horrid story.

The same governments that keep advising the urban population to stay safe in their homes ensuring the comforts of food and other essentials and which even consider door delivery of liquor (some have started this and others considering) could not care less when it comes to the rural population.

Irony is that the same governments are prostrating before the UP government to prevent the labour from going back home as the reverse migration would deal a disastrous blow to the economy in the States.

Construction works, industries and even farming are heavily dependent on migrant labour. This is just one aspect of the insensitivity of the governments. The second area is the farm sector.

The issues arising out of lockdown range from difficulty in harvesting crops due to social distancing norms and workforce being compelled to be indoors, non-availability of transport to take crops to markets, mandis and markets remaining closed or barely open.

To compound problems, many parts of the country saw inclement weather - untimely rain and hailstorms, which destroyed standing crops. Despite such overwhelming odds, farmers of the nation have worked hard and provided the necessary food resources to the whole country during this lockdown, but no government has yet recognised the national food security service rendered by farmers.

As always, farmers have remained unrecognised and invisible to governments. While the farmers have suffered huge losses in Rabi crop due to hailstorms and rain, they were forcefully locked down and were unable to tend their fields which led to further damage.

The entire harvesting has been done in rather difficult conditions, especially due to the prolonged restrictions, yet they worked hard to ensure that the granary remains full and people of the country do not go hungry.

Under conditions of blockade and restricted private purchase, the government promised them procurement from the field at Minimum Support Prices.

Unfortunately, this promise largely remained confined to claims, its weighment centres remained non-functional in most places and to top it all, it placed several restrictions on quantity to be procured in mandis and it ordered severe deductions due to allegedly shrivelled grains.

No one has noticed this cheating. No one has clapped for the farmers. No one has called them the 'food warriors'. Do we understand that India survives because of Bharat and not vice versa!

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