By Sanjay Bhatnagar
It was a routine daily meeting of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath which he takes every morning to review the lockdown situation and apprise himself of the works done by 11 committees, he set up to look after different tasks during Covid-19 scare.
A hands-on CM as he is known to be among the bureaucrats suddenly announced to bring back all the migrant labourers stranded in various states due to Corona Lockdown. It left officers in the meeting rather bewildered as it was an onerous task to take on but the climactic blow was yet to come. In the same vein , his next edict was to arrange employment, in the phased manner, to all those who return to their native state as it is deemed to be duty of the state government.
“It took some time for all of us to realise how pro-active could be the vision of a Chief Minister whose entire vision hinged upon one fact as to how to dilute miseries of his people. The person who is seen fighting one medical calamity is willing to take on another challenge- equally demanding if not bigger than the Covid itself,’’ Shishir, the Director of Information who was present in the meeting said.
He immediately asked the top bureaucratic functionaries to prepare an action plan to bring back the migrants-lakhs in number in all the states, The next was to constitute a committee to explore employment opportunities for five lakh migrants to start with coupled with the ideas on revival of state’s economy.
Truly speaking, the decision making in the crisis brings out true leadership qualities of a politician. Precisely been the case of Yogi Adityanath whose astute leadership made Uttar Pradesh looking to fight the menace of Covid-19 in more assuring way than anybody else.
If one looks at the metrics, the state of Uttar Pradesh has population more than 23 crore with population density of more than 850 per sq km. The lakhs of migrants, mostly labour class, had to shift to Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Delhi, Punjab and other states to earn their livelihood. The sudden attack of pandemic Corona left them jobless, penniless and hopeless as the businesses were closed and they had to return to their home state almost empty handed.
It is humongous task at hand but this is where lies the steely political will to fight against the odds. When like rest of the country, Uttar Pradesh is also struggling to put its acts together, it was a challenge worth taking and worth emulating for many of the states who chided the very thought like this.
The first batch of migrants came from Haryana, about 12,000 in number. They were made to go through medical examination drills and given money to sustain themselves till they are given jobs.
The Committee headed by Agriculture Production Commissioner Alok Sinha with Principal Secretaries of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, MSME and Skill Development is burning midnight oil to accomplish the huge assignment. Navneet Sehgal, the Principal Secretary, MSME department and one of the members of the committee said it has been a compassionate decision of the Chief Minister which we will carry out in to-to.
He said the efforts are on to resume operations in over 90 lakh Small and Medium Industries in the state as this sector has huge potential to give some work to unemployed. Some innovative ways are also being adopted in this regard.
“We have been provided with the data-base of the migrants and their areas of skill. The UP will be the first state to think on such positive lines with regards to future of jobless migrant labourers,’’ Sehgal remarked.
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