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Monsoon session: No data available on migrant deaths during lockdown, says Centre

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New Delhi, Sep 14: The Centre on Monday informed Parliament that there is no data available on the number of migrant workers who have lost their lives during the nationwide lockdown, which was announced on March 25 to curb the spread of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

To a question, whether thousands of migrant labourers have died during coronavirus lockdown, the government responded saying, "No such data is available."

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In a written reply, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment said "India, as a nation, has responded through the central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, resident welfare associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as large number of genuine and bonafide nongovernmental organisations in the nation's fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and country-wide lockdown."

To a question on details about its free ration distribution scheme during the lockdown, the government said, "State-wise details are not available.

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However, 80 crore people are being provided additional 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses, free of cost every month till November 2020 to empower millions of migrant workers/labourers working in various organized and unorganised sectors to seamlessly receive their food security entitlements under National Food Security Act (NFSA), irrespective of their physical location."

The data also mentioned the co-morbidities or accidents that caused the deaths in a few cases.

The ministry informed that over 1.04 crore migrants returned to their respective home states. Uttar Pradesh (UP) topped the list with 32.4 lakhs, followed by Bihar (15 lakhs) and Rajasthan (13 lakhs) in the first such centralised database record on migrants.

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