Replying to the unstarred questions, the Ministry of Labor and Employment revealed that there is no data available with them or they maintained no records for the migrant workers who died or lost their lives while returning to their home town after the announcement of nation-wide lockdown in March. The questions were asked by three Member of Parliament; Shri k. Navaskani, Shri Balubhai alias Suresh Narayan Dhanorkar, and Adv. Adoor Prakash.
The asked a total of 5 questions; (i) whether the government has data of migrant worker who returned to their state state-wise; (ii) Is the government aware that migrant workers lost lives and if they know to provide the data; (iii) Is there any sought of compensation been provided to the victims family; (iv) Is there any assessment been done by the government of the jobs loss among workers and if so provide the details;(v) Details thereof and if not the reason thereof.
To this, the government replied that there is no data available for the migrant workers who lost their lives or their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic while returning home and since there is no data available; the matter of compensation doesn’t come into the picture. The government further said “The Indian Railways has operated more than 4611 Shramik Special Trains for convenience of the workers. More than 63.07 lakh migrant workers have been shifted to various destinations located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and other States.
Food and water were also provided free of cost to the workers during their journey”. Though Labor & Employment Minister Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar was not able to provide data on how many migrant workers died or lost their jobs during the pandemic, he was able to provide that how many migrant workers were sent to their home states. He said that a total of 1, 04, 66, 152 (one crore four lakh sixty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-two) workers returned to their respective states. The highest returned to Uttar Pradesh; a total of 32, 49, 638 (thirty-two lakh forty-nine thousand six hundred and thirty-eight) returned to Uttar Pradesh whereas the second-highest returned to Bihar with a total of 15, 00, 612 (fifteen lakh six hundred and twelve).