West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to 18 chief ministers of the country, asking them to provide aid to the workers from the state who are stranded in different regions due to the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Bengal has many workers - semi skilled and unskilled, working in different parts of the country. Due to complete lockdown in the country for COVID- 19 pandemic, many Bengal workers could not travel back and are stuck at different places," Banerjee said in the letter.
The chief ministers of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Delhi, Odisha, Karnataka and Punjab were among those who received the letter. "We have received information that many such workers who are ordinarily resident of Bengal are stuck in your state too," Banerjee said. "We are getting SOS calls from them."
They are generally in groups of 50-100 and can be easily identified by the local administration, the chief minister said. "Since, it is not possible for us to reach any help to them, I take the opportunity to request you to kindly ask your administration to provide them with basic shelter, food and medical support during this period of crisis," she said.
"We, in Bengal, are taking care of such stuck people in our State," Banerjee said in the letter. She stated that the chief secretary would pass on the details of such people to the respective state chief secretaries to speed up this entire process of humanitarian support in this hour of crisis.