Humanitarian Hinderance

Swami Agnivesh & Anr Vs Union of India & Ors | Supreme Court | |

Petition in the Supreme Court of India for unorganised labourers during the Covid-19 lockdown

This petition is filed for immediate relief for the poor, informal sector workers, slum dwellers, and homeless persons in the rural areas and urban slum who are in the present situation of the spread of Corona Virus living with hunger, many of whom- men, women and children- may die of starvation in the coming days if they do not get emergency food, medical aid and shelter immediately.

The Lockdown announced on 24.03.2020 by the Government made hardly any meaningful provisions for providing on a large-scale basic humanitarian aid and emergency services for the poor, particularly as all employment came to an end, wages were stopped, access to medical services were restricted on account of severe transportation closures. In short, the working people were left to starve. Many more times than the deaths due to the virus will be the deaths caused by the starvation of men, women and children. A severe humanitarian crisis is unfolding as workers are stranded without any food, shelter or means to go back home.

The central as well as various state governments have announced relief packages but the feedback from the ground is that these relief measures remain mainly on paper. The reports of deaths of migrant workers and failure of delivery of essential services are very serious. Most of the government departments are not functional It is perhaps fear of the virus that is keeping government workers away from work but this inexcusable and shameful in the present situation.