Srinagar, June 07: Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) has urged the central government to bring back hundreds of labourers from J&K stranded overseas because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
In a press release,se JKPM Vice President Advocate Syed Iqbal Tahir said that labourers have been among the worst-hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that most labourers in the GCC countries are at the bottom of the pyramid in their host countries.
“Infected in large numbers, and with limited access to healthcare, that is a humanitarian crisis that is developing. Even as the Indian government carried out some repatriation efforts to bring back the Indians stranded abroad, many labourers have failed to avail the service with no money to buy tickets, ” he said.
Iqbal Tahir further said that there are thousands of workers from J&K, who are out of in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain and pandemic only exacerbated the crisis of the countries, which were already reeling under the impact of the plummeting oil prices.
Meanwhile, JKPM State Secretary Advocate Raja Mehmood stated that most of the labourers in GCC countries have no money and they live in the mercy of others.
“There are thousands of people who have lost their jobs. Even before the virus, jobs were hit by the oil crisis and layoffs have started already, ” he said and added that their dream to return to his homeland seem to be elusive after knocking at many doors for help.
Raja Mehmood further said that for most of the migrants, the ordeal is compounded by fear of the pandemic as they share cramped living spaces with no possibility of social distancing.
“Theses stranded residents of J&K would die of starvation rather than the viral outbreak if they are made to stay away from home for nay longer, ” Raja Mehmood said.