Bengaluru: The second wave of the pandemic has hit India really hard. As the country sees more and more deaths, shortage of oxygen cylinders and beds, the story is no different when it comes to the plight of the migrant workers. 

Many migrants, who hail from North India, work in southern states in construction sector and rice mills. Now as these migrants are returning to their home states, rice mill owners in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are going the extra mile to placate these workers from not going back to home states. 

As reports suggest, the rice mill owners are arranging their stay or accommodation, giving them vegetables for cooking, serving them free lunches and also, are giving them air conditioners. 

“To get them back last year, we paid for their train fares among other things. We don’t want them to go away again now, but they are worried that there might be another lockdown and they would be stranded here,” said Manchu Venkateshwarlu, a rice mill owner in Miryalaguda, as reported by Times of India. 

“To remain safe from Covid-19, I have asked them not to venture out of the mill compound. We are providing free lunch at the mill so that they do not go out in the afternoon and we have set up additional sheds for their accommodation. We have also provided sanitisers and masks. In the coming days, if necessary we will provide dry rations too,” he added.

“As the Covid-19 situation worsens, they are worried if they would be able to go back to their families, and their discussions are all about Maharashtra and night curfews,” said Gampa Nagender, President of Telangana Rice Millers Association.

“Also, we are getting RT-PCR tests done if anyone has symptoms. If someone tests positive we get them treated. But if one batch from any rice mill decides to go back, all of them will follow and we won’t be able to stop them. Our efforts are to prevent panic among the workers,” he added.