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State committed to welfare of guest workers: Kerala CM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Faced with a sudden protest by migrant labourers in Kottayam that sent the administration into a tizzy, the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said measures had been taken to ensure their security and well-being. But their desire to return to their native places will not be possible in the present scenario since a nationwide lockdown is in force.

“Travelling at this juncture will be dangerous and counterproductive to our efforts against Covid 19,” he said, while reacting to the protest by migrant labourers at Payippad in Kottayam on Sunday.Terming the protest unfortunate, he said urgent steps will be taken to address the shortcomings. The government has appointed an IAS officer to coordinate the facilities provided to migrant workers. The district collectors have been asked to address the issues that crop up in their respective regions.“Kerala is home to a large number of workers from other states. We consider them as guest workers,” said Pinarayi.

The state has opened Covid camps for the migrant workers. As many as 1,70,000 guest workers are in these facilities. Masks, soaps and sanitisers have been made available in these Covid-19 camps. Community kitchens are providing free cooked meals in locations across the state. In other places, we have delivered provisions to guest workers, he said.

He criticised vested interests for running a  misinformation campaign among guest workers that led to the sudden protest. He said such campaigns were directed against the state. “We cannot accept that such a massive protest happened all of a sudden.Such a gathering  undermines the vigil we have been maintaining to check  the spread of Covid-19. We will take strong measures to prevent the recurrence of such protests,” he said.The state has decided to circulate brochures and short videos in Hindi, Oriya and Bengali  to create awareness among them.

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