The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to allocate food grains to states and union territories for distribution among migrant workers for free till the Covid situation exists. The pandemic has taken a toll on thousands of people and many have lost the jobs that would give them daily wages. Under those circumstances, the Supreme Court has also asked the states to provide day ration and continue community kitchens for migrant workers. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati mentioned that the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme made food security portable and was tailor-made for migrant labourers.
The bench for this issue was headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan passed a slew of directions to the Centre and state governments for the benefit of the migrant workers. Along with this, the court directed the Centre to develop a national portal in consultation with NIC to register unorganized and migrant workers as well.
The main aim is to ensure that migrant workers are not deprived of ration and food security, and they should also be able to travel back to their homes at a nominal cost. During the hearing, the top court said, its main concern is that benefits that are meant for migrant workers must reach them and stressed the process of their registration is woefully slow. The top court said the Centre and state governments must expedite the registration of migrant workers and those working in the unorganised sectors.
When the unorganised workers are waiting for registration and are waiting to reap the benefit of various welfare schemes of the States and Centre, the “apathy and lackadaisical attitude by the Ministry of Labour and Employment is worth watching that how they drag the work.