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Govt sets up 20 control rooms to address migrant workers’ issues due to Covid-19 lockdown

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Migrant workers coming from different parts of the country | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Migrant workers coming from different parts of the country | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint


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New Delhi: The Labour Ministry on Tuesday said it has set up 20 control rooms on pan-India basis to address wage-related grievances and to mitigate problems faced by migrant workers amid the lockdown period to contain the Covid-19 crisis.

The Prime Minister has announced extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3 with conditional relaxation from April 20 in some areas on the basis of evaluation of the situation.

The workers, especially migrant labourers, are the worst among due to the lockdown as a large number of them either faced pay cut or job loss.

According to an International Labour Organisation assessment, 40 crore informal sector workers in India could be pushed deeper into poverty due to this lockdown.

“The Ministry of Labour and Employment has set up 20 control rooms under the Office of Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) (C) on pan-India basis due to issues arising in the backdrop of Covid-19,” it said in a statement.

These control rooms have been set up to address wage related grievances of workers employed in the Central Sphere, the ministry said, adding that it would also work to mitigate the problems of migrant workers through coordination with various state governments.

These call centres can be accessed by the workers through phone numbers, Whatsapp and e-mails.

The control rooms are being managed by labour enforcement officers, assistant labour commissioners, regional labour commissioners, and deputy chief labour commissioners of the respective regions.

The functioning of all 20 call centres is being monitored and supervised by Chief Labour Commissioner (C) of Head Quarter on daily basis, the ministry said.

All the concerned officers/officials have been advised to adopt a humane approach to assist the aggrieved workmen to the maximum possible extent and ensure delivery of timely relief to the needy ones, it added.

Earlier, the Labour Ministry had also issued an advisory to employers to desist from any retrenchment or pay cuts during the lockdown period.


Also read: Magic shows, PT, counselling — this Delhi shelter is taking special care of migrant workers


 

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India

Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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