Bijay Kumar Minj, New Delhi
Updated: March 26, 2020 08:26 AM GMT
An Indian policeman speaks to Pakistani nationals planning to return home from Amritsar on March 25 while no public transport is available on the first day of a 21-day national lockdown to tackle Covid-19. (Photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP)
Migrant workers in Indian capital New Delhi are facing serious problems after the national lockdown to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 ordered all of the country’s 1.37 billion people to stay inside their homes for the next 21 days to try to beat the virus, triggering a mass exodus of migrant workers who now face uncertainty.
“Whenever there is a pandemic, rioting or a political crisis, the first to suffer the most are migrant workers, and even this time there is no exception and we are helpless to support the poor workers,” Father Jaison Vadassery, secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India’s commission for migrants, told UCA News.
“If we had been informed earlier by the government or higher authorities, many organizations including the Church would have been able to help migrant workers, but unfortunately that did not happen. We are still trying to help them by urging the government to implement mechanisms to reach them."
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.