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Coronavirus Lockdown: Supreme Court advises govt to rope in religious teachers to calm migrants lodged in shelters

Coronavirus Lockdown: Supreme Court advises govt to rope in religious teachers to calm migrants lodged in shelters

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 31 Mar 2020, 05:19 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Migrant workers stopped while journeying back home and sent to government shelters amid coronavirus lockdown should be provided with medical aid, food and counselling from religious leaders, the Supreme Court told the Centre on Tuesday, said media reports.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition seeking directions to provide food, shelter, medical aid to migrant workers

Chief Justice SA Bobde directed the Central government to ensure food, shelter, nourishment and medical aid to the migrants who were stopped amid their long journey to their hometowns mostly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The court also advised the government to calm the migrants who were abruptly left without their jobs and homes because of the 21-day-lockdown to arrest the spread of coronavirus in India.

"We want to impress upon you that the panic will destroy more lives than the virus. You need counsellors. You can have bhajan, kirtan, namaz or whatever but you have to give strength to the people," said the court, an NDTV report said.

It urged the government to bring in leaders of all faiths to counsel migrants in shelters.

"Ensure trained counsellors and community leaders of all faiths visit relief camps and prevent panic," it said, the report added.

Distressing accounts had surfaced on Saturday night from the national capital where thousands of migrant workers, even while fearing for their lives due to virus spread, crowded into bus terminals around Delhi to return back to their hometowns and villages in Uttar Pradesh after they were left with no jobs, shelter or money.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured the Supreme Court that withing 24 hours the government will mobilise trained counsellors and religious leaders.

"We will mobilise religious leaders, maulvis, sadhus to counsel them to stay calm," he said.

He said "as of 11 am today" there are no migrants on the roads and all have been shifted to shelters.

The Solicitor General said the government has been able to contain the spread of coronavirus owing to the "preemptive and proactive" measures it started as early as Jan 17 ahead of what many other countries did.

He informed the apex court that the government is satisfied by the extent to which it has been able to contain the spread of coronavirus infection in the country.

Coronavirus Lockdown: Supreme Court advises govt to rope in religious teachers to calm migrants lodged in shelters

India Blooms News Service
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