Almost 5 Lakh Migrants Seek Return

Around 4.86 lakh migrants have registered with the Odisha government seeking to return home as the nation-wide lockdown continues. Earlier, the state government made it mandatory to complete the registration process for anyone wanting to return.

“In the past 48 hours, 4.86 lakh people intending to return home have completed registration,” confirmed Subroto Bagchi, Chief Spokesperson on COVID-19.

The BJD government has already initiated the process of arranging returns for all those who are stranded in Maharashtra and Gujarat. These migrants would be brought back to the state by various buses over the next few weeks.

Upon their return, each individual has to go through 14 days of quarantine in either government facilities where they will be provided with food free of cost or in designated hotels which has to be self-funded.

According to estimates, around 7.5 lakh migrant workers are stuck in various parts of India due to the lockdown.

Notably, some activists have raised questions on mandatory submission of Aadhaar number to complete the registration process.

“To register, people need to fill up an online form available on the portal, in which it is mandatory to provide the stranded person’s Aadhaar card number and the applicant’s mobile phone number. This makes the exercise discriminatory and non-inclusive”, commented activists from Citizen Action Group (CAG).