by Shoeb Ahmed Siddiqui
He was flooded with requests seeking help and videos of stranded workers.
Hyderabad – Coronavirus epidemic which has not only caused loss of lives due to the infection but has also taken lives due to the hunger and starvation.
As the crisis around the COVID-19 pandemic grows, the livelihoods of a large number of families surviving on daily wages have been shaken up.
The unprecedented lockdown in India has stranded several thousands of migrant laborers from states like Bihar, UP, Odhisa and other parts of India.
After the announcement of lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, migrant workers across India traveling to their native places have created chaos and crammed national highways.
The 21 days lockdown which some of the states have even extended now, has left these migrants in Hyderabad with no money, little food and even without options of returning to their places.
Telangana Government has announced 12 kilos of rice and Rs 1500 cash for ration holder and has also been providing free meals through its Rs 5 canteens. It has also set up makeshift accommodation for these migrants.
Many NGO groups and individuals are also seen providing food and ration kits in different parts of Hyderabad city.
One such individual we came across is a Hyderabad-based construction engineer Manzoor Akhtar, who is originally from Jharkhand. Akhtar has been associated with the construction industry in Hyderabad for the past eight years and is well known among municipal and metro-rail departments.
When Akhtar posted a WhatsApp status of an NGO providing ration and meals, many of the migrant workers who worked for him throughout his career contacted him and were seeking help as they had lost their jobs and lacked food for survival.
All of these workers hail from different states of India and are stranded in parts of Hyderabad. He was flooded with requests seeking help and videos of stranded workers.
Initially, Akhtar helped them through his personal savings, but when he was unable to cope-up with the requirement he sought help from his contacts in the construction industry.
He was able to raise funds for some of them, but as the word spreads he is now flooded with requests for more help. Many of his friends have volunteered to help financially and also to deliver the ration.
Akhtar is now fundraising within the construction industry to help the stranded labourers in Hyderabad.
Shoeb Siddiqi is a contributor at The Milli Chronicle and hold Masters in Construction Technology.