As the Union Government has decided to collect the train fares from the migrants who are stranded in other cities due to imposed lockdown and struggling to meet the ends due to lack of work, principal Opposition Congress party has come forward to bear the train fares of the migrants. Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced that the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) of the respective states would pay for the rail travel of the migrant workers.
She said the cost of rail travel of every needy worker and migrant labour would be paid by the PCCs, Sonia said in a statement on Monday. She found fault with the decision of the Central government and the Rail Ministry for deciding to charge fares from the migrants. She said the government’s decision to collect train fares from migrants at this hour is “disturbing”.
“Our workers and labourers form the backbone of our economy. Their hard work and sacrifice are the foundation of our nation,” Sonia said. She further said, “The Indian National Congress has, therefore, taken a decision that every Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the cost for the rail travel of every needy worker and migrant labourer and shall take necessary steps in this regard. This will be the Indian National Congress’ humble contribution in service of our compatriots and to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with them.” Sonia attacked Narendra Modi-led Union Government. She said, “But what is the responsibility of our Government? Even today, lakhs of workers and migrant labourers are languishing in different parts of the country and wish to return to their homes and families but there is neither adequate money nor provision for free transport. What is particularly disturbing is that the Central Government and the Rail Ministry are charging them for train tickets in this hour of crisis.”
Sonia gave back and blue to Modi’s government. Stressing that if government could spend Rs 100 crores on transport and food etc. for just one public programme in Gujarat, and the Rail Ministry that has the largesse to donate Rs 151 Crores to the PM’s Corona fund, Sonia questioned that why couldn’t the migrants – essential members of our nation’s fabric – be given a fraction of the same courtesy, especially free rail travel, at this hour of acute distress. “Post the partition of 1947, this is the first time India witnessed a tragedy with such a massive human cost as thousands of migrant workers and labourers were forced to walk home several hundred kilometres on foot- without food, without medicines, without money, without transportation, without anything except for the desire to return to their families and loved ones. The very thought of their plight is enough to break our hearts as there was also the outpouring of support from fellow Indians for their inspiring resolve,” Sonia Gandhi said in her long post.
Sonia Gandhi’s announcement has got good reception from all the corners. Migrants have welcomed Congress party’s decision to pay for their travel to their native places.