We are frustrated, want to leave without delay, say migrant workers

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Migrant workers gathered at the North Goa Collectorate in Panaji to register their names to return to their native places.

Panaji: News of tenants being troubled by some landlords over the issue of rent had become common over the past few weeks in the wake of the lockdown and this despite the fact that the government appealing to people not to take rent from jobless and stranded tenants.

“The landlord disconnected power supply, then water supply was stopped and when he noticed we  were unfazed he shut the doors and without mincing any words he asked us to leave if we did not have money to pay the rent,” claimed an aggrieved tenant.

“If we stay back there is a problem and if we want to return to our native state then also there is a problem. What are we supposed to do in such a situation; when visited the North Goa Collectorate to enquire about our travel back to our state we were told, ‘You will receive a call and we will let you know, have patience’,” said another person who is desperately seeking to go back to his native state.

Worried over lockdown after lockdown, the migrants have been approaching the North Goa Collectorate to enquire about their arrangements for sending them home.  A lot of stranded people again rushed to the Collectorate office after hearing of the fourth phase of lockdown.

“We are now frustrated as nobody listens to us. There is no work, no money and no food to survive. How do we live like this in Goa,” questioned a group of migrant workers.

Such group of people from Agra, Assam and Gorakhpur, who were working in city hotels, are desperate to go back, stated Dhirendra Kumar.

Raju, a tailor at Santa Inez, wants to leave as there is no support either from the employer or from government and questioned, “What to do by staying back when there is no work in Goa.”

While a driver from Belagavi, Krishna Revonkar stated that he is literally penniless as his owner paid him salary a month ago and told him to go home as there is no taxi business but promised that  “if need be, he would be called back.”

P Dhani from UP, whose wife is expecting, also wants to leave immediately for his native village as there is nobody to look after his 3-year-old child and wife, while a group of 200 plus from Gorakhpur, who annually leave the state during April and return in August, are also desperate to go to their native state as they have large tracts of land to cultivate.

“They have everything to eat in their village but here in Goa they have run out of money. Spending on food is a major concern for them,” stated a local.

 “We have been coming to Goa for work for the past several years, but such a situation has never occurred to us. Usually we go back to our native state by April and for Diwali and return to Goa in August,” pointed out a stranded worker.

A large number of migrants had gathered at the North Goa Collectorate office and Sub Divisional Magistrate office to complete the formalities to go back to their hometown and also enquire about forms which they had filled a fortnight ago.