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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 21 October 2020 2.12 AM IST

Thousands of migrant labourers want to go home, strike on lockdown at Payippad in Changanassery

migrant-labourers

KOTTAYAM: In violation of the lockdown in Kerala, over a thousand migrant labourers hailing from various states on Sunday gathered at Payippadu near Changnacherry in Kottayam and demanded that they be sent back home. They staged protests. The protesters squatted on the roads demanding a return to their native places. They also complained that they are not getting any food and water and requested a situation be created for them to return home.

The incident happened at Payippad in Changanassery. Though things like community kitchens have been arranged in the district, reports said things turned worse after the employers failed to hand over the number of their employees to them. According to the reports of the panchayat, there are almost 10,000 employees staying in Payippad. There are shortage of essential food items and no action is taken to address this issue.

Since Sunday morning, hundreds of labourers were gathering at Payippadu and raising slogans to demand their return to their native villages while the police looked on.

Local legislator C F Thomas said that though there were no complaints of food or accommodation shortage, the migrants wanted to return home.

Kottayam District Collector Sudhir Babu told the media that till the other day the migrants had raised no issue.

"Till yesterday, they never ever raised any issue. The demand that they wanted to go home surfaced only on Sunday. At the moment, the issue will have to be discussed in view of the lockdown," said Babu.

But taking a different stand, Payipadu village council member Sibi said these migrants were facing trouble over availability of food and accommodation.

These labourers are finding it tough arranging food and accommodation. These labourers are brought to Kerala by agents and put up in accommodations after charging money. Now, the agents have washed their hands off the matter and that's the real issue," said Siby.

State BJP president K Surendran said while Kerala witnesses hype over various issue, the real one are not addressed.

"They are restless because they are not getting food and accommodation. Hence, they want to go home," said Surendran.

This public upsurge has come at a time when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked authorities to treat migrant labourers, whom he addresses as 'guests', with respect.

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TAGS: THOUSANDS, MIGRANT LABOURERS, WANT TO GO HOME, STRIKE, LOCKDOWN, PAYIPPAD, CHANGANASSERY
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