Bengaluru: In an exercise and endeavour that can be termed “massive” the Indian Railways has successfully ferried as many as 11.5 lakh stranded migrants in over 999 Shramik trains.  

Railway minister Piyush Goyal said, "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 1,000 Shramik Special trains have been approved for ferrying migrant workers to their homes."

The Minister further said, "Yesterday 145 Shramik trains ran for the migrant labours. 75 per cent of the total Shramik Special trains are running for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar."

The Rail Minister slammed the state governments of states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, and said, "The Railways is ready to ferry workers to their homes by running 300 Shramik special trains daily, but sadly a few states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are not allowing these trains due to which migrant workers are suffering and are away from home." 

A railway official further added, "More than 11.5 lakh passengers have reached their home states. Trains are being run by the railways only after concurrence is given both by the state, which is sending the passengers, and the state, which is receiving them.” 

The official further said that proper screening of passengers is ensured before boarding the train. "During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water," he said.

The Indian Railways started to run the Shramik Special train from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists across the country.

While the efforts to help stranded migrants go on, so does the politics. Several states have not asked for more trains to help people reach their destinations. 

It was precisely this part that the railways minister was lamenting about. At a time like the coronavirus, the nation should stand as one, burying all the differences.