SAHARANPUR (UP): Within days of announcement of lockdown, migrant labourers from neighbouring industrial townships poured into Saharanpur and suddenly the hard-pressed district administration was saddled with the gigantic task of providing shelter, food and basic amenities to nearly 10,000 of them.
It required large-scale requisitioning of hotels, hostels, schools and private accommodations to house them. Instead, the administration sought help from Radha Soami Satsang, which had a sprawling 350-acre property and had recently organised a congregation of nearly three lakh followers.
Commissioner Sanjay Kumar requested Amar Lal Arora, area secretary of Satsang, for using the sprawling property to house the migrant labourers. Arora not only agreed but threw open all the facilities of Satsang to migrant workers. Working shoulder to shoulder with administration, sevadars of Satsang cooked food for the migrant workers and also provided the administration with 9-10,000 food packets daily for distribution among poor and destitute who were facing the heat of lockdown.
The satsang premises had 160 modern toilets and migrant workers were given access to these. There was adequate facilities for charging of mobile phones. In the evening, the giant sized projector was used for screening entertainment programmes. The administration also engaged few trainers to carry out morning exercise drills for the migrant workers. The property suffered minor damages as the migrant workers roamed around the sprawling lawns unhindered. But, both the district administration and sating management said that they would repair the damages once the migrant workers get back home.
Additional district magistrate Vinod Kumar said that each worker who belonged to Saharanpur had been provided with Rs 1,000 and the district administration has so far spent around Rs 16 crore. He was also overseeing the sending back of migrant workers to their home states after the Union government started providing 'Sharamik Specials'.
This required close coordination with other states. The names of each migrant worker was to be entered into the list of passengRead More – Source