The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the death of a migrant worker due to hunger in Saharanpur, after he had walked 350 km from Ludhiana on way to his home in Hardoi.
The NHRC has described19-year-old Vipin Kumar’s death as a “serious issue of human rights violation”.
Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, the NHRC issued a notice to the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh and sought a report in four weeks. The official is expected to provide details about the present status of the migrant labourers of Uttar Pradesh stuck in different states, who are willing to come back to their native places and the steps being taken to ensure their smooth journey back home.
The rights panel has observed that it is not the first time that it has come across such an incident relating to painful conditions of the migrant labourers, their illness, delivery of babies on roads and their deaths during their journey back home in the wake of the COVID19-induced lockdown.
It further observed that the announcements made by the Uttar Pradesh government about providing shaded shelter, food and drinking water to the migrant labourers are not being implemented on ground which is adding to the labourers’ suffering.
According to the media report, Vipin Kumar used to work at a shop in Ludhiana. He had embarked on a long journey to his home in Sursa, Hardoi on foot on May 12.
“Walking continuously for six days without food and covering over 350 km, he fell on the road near Saharanpur. An ambulance spotted him lying on the road and shifted him to a district hospital. But he could not be saved. Doctors said he died of hunger,” the NHRC said in a statement.
Reportedly, Kumar had informed his family on May 12 that he was returning home.
His father, as mentioned in the news report, stated that Kumar had no other option but to walk down, the statement said.