Concerned citizens ask state governments to transport stranded migrants to their homes

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published Published on May 20, 2020   modified Modified on May 21, 2020

-Press release by Stranded Workers Action Network, dated 20th May 2020


We, the undersigned organizations call upon the State governments concerned to bring out all idle transport vehicles out from garages to the State and National highways to carry the workers to their home. We also request that more interstate trains be run, and in a coordinated fashion, to ensure that workers do not remain struck in overcrowded dormitories and camps.  

We appreciate the hard work put in by the respective State administrations to facilitate the process of workers getting home, amidst all the logistical challenges that are involved in coordinating such an effort and scale. However, it is also very clear that the present efforts by the State governments to organize transport from select cities and towns are not adequate to cover all the workers who want to get home. While the workers walk, the Central Government continues to evade any real action that will ensure assistance in providing wheels to the workers.

Given the enormous distress that the walking workers and their families are facing, we appeal to the State governments to reach out to the Truck Owners Associations, the Private bus owners association and deploy their own State Transport Corporation fleet to intercept the walking workers and carry them home. To facilitate this, it is necessary that the State governments permit the free movement of all types of vehicles carrying workers, across state borders and check posts.

Also we request the concerned administrations to refrain from charging any toll fee on the highways, from the workers who built these roads in the first place. We also request that border security is notified in advance to not create difficulties in the way of such vehicles plying the various National highways.

We also urge you to stop all kinds of corruption and harassment by individuals and State officials along the roads so that the walking workers can be assured of safe passage. Given the extreme conditions and suffering faced by the workers, we all hope that your administrations can step up your ongoing efforts and intervene immediately.

To this effect, we as a group of Organisations, Networks and Individuals, have given a public call for a Twitter Storm tomorrow (21 May, Thursday) from 6 to 9 pm, under the hashtag #WheelsForWorkers. We believe that No Wheels should remain Idle while the Workers are Walking!

Thanking you.


Organizations and Networks:
Adivasi sangathan, Madhya Pradesh
Aajeevika Bureau
All Delhi Trade Union's Association, Delhi
All India Students' Association (AISA)
All India Unorganized and Domestic Workers Congress, Delhi
Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle, IIT Bombay
Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, IIT Madras
Centre for Education and Communication
Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace, Ahmedabad
Centre for Social Development, Hyderabad
Citizens for Justice and Peace
Confluence, IISER Mohali
Delhi Asangathit Nirman Mazdoor Union (INTUC/BWI), Delhi
Delhi Construction Workers Union, Delhi
Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai
Ganatantrik Adhikaar Suraksha Sanghathan (GASS), Odisha
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai
Habitat and Livelihood Welfare Association, Mumbai
Helping Hands Charitable Trust, Mumbai
IIT Bombay for Justice
Indian National Migrants workers Union, Delhi
Information and Resource Centre for Deprived Urban Communities IRCDUC, Chennai
Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Mumbai
Little India Foundation, New Delhi
Lockdown Relief Project, Mumbai
Lok Manch National Facilitation Centre
Migrant Workers Help Group, Kerala
Migrant Workers Solidarity, Odisha
Migrant Workers' Solidarity Network (MWSN)
Mumbai Responds Relief Network
Mumbai TB Collective
National Federation of Handloom and Handicraft Workers, Hyderabad
National Labour Foundation, Delhi
Nirman Mazdoor Adhikar Abhiyan, Delhi
People First Collective India (PFCI)
People in Distress, WB
People's Union for Civil Liberties - PUCL, India
People's Union for Civil Liberties - PUCL, Maharashtra
People's Union for Civil Liberties - PUCL, Odisha
Rangoonwala Foundation (India) Trust, Mumbai
READ, Erode
SAHARA - Stranded Humans Relief & Aid Group
Sahayini Social Development Society, Mumbai
Samanvaya, Mumbai
Samta Sainik Dal, Maharashtra
Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, Mumbai
SevaShakti, Mumbai
Social Environment Educational Development Society, Delhi
Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN)
Thozhilalar Koodam, Chennai
United Against Hate
Western Harm Reduction Network
YuMetta Foundation, Pune

Amudhan, Film-maker, Chennai
Ashok Khandelwal, Citizen
Asmita Abhyankar
Bhaswati Chakravorty
Brinelle Dsouza, TISS
Christy Abraham, Citizen
Debranjan, Film-maker, Odisha
Ernesto Noronha, IIM, Ahmedabad
Fr. Cedric Prakash, SJ, Human Rights and Peace Activist
Geetha Devarajan, Advocate, Chennai
Indira Mansingh, Citizen
Jagdish Patel, People's Training and Research Centre, Baroda, Citizen
Javed Malick
Kalpana Kannabiran, Centre for Social Development, Hyderabad
Kirti Shah, INHAF, ASAG
Lokesh, Centre for Education and Communication, Ahmedabad
Mohan and Devika, Advocates
Neena Shah More
Neeraj Malik
Niru Acharya
Padmini, Bengaluru
Persis Ginwalla, Social Activist, Ahmedabad
Preethi Atreya
Prof Ritu Dewan, Retd Professor and Director, Department of Economics, University of Mumbai
R. Swarnalatha, Citizen
Rajinder Negi, PUDR, Delhi
Rajiv Khandelwal, Executive Director, Aajeevika Bureau
Rajluxmi Vaish
Ranjana, writer and feminist activist, Bhubaneshwar
Ravinder Goel, formerly of Delhi University
Shweta Damle
Sitaramaiah Nagabothu, Citizen
Smita M.Patil
Sujata Gothoskar
Teesta Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace
Usha Rai

For more information, please contact the email id: [email protected]

Press release by Stranded Workers Action Network, dated 20th May 2020

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