June 6, 2020
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M P Joseph – A man for all

Corona the deadly virus is been spreading rapidly all over the world. As the total number of positive cases in India has crossed 2500. India has been lockdown for 21 days as to control the spread of virus and thus all the migrant labourers are not able to travel back to their hometown.

Recently, hundreds of migrant workers marched at the streets of Paippad, at Changanassery of Kottayam district to go back to their native. The district administration did a fantastic job by making them understand the consequences of travelling amid the Covid-19 lockdown and how it can affect their families too. Workers are still not serious about the outbreak of coronavirus and the after effects of it. The workers would take it seriously only if they are conveyed through their own mother tongue and by their state Ministers.

M P Joseph IAS, former UN Civil Servant in the International Labour Organization wrote a letter to Ms. Dagmar Walter Director ILO, New Delhi and Ms. Panudd Boonpala Regional Deputy Director for Asia and the Pacific, ILO Regional, Bangkok, Thailand regarding the suggestions and advice on the steps that could be taken to allay the fears of the workers.

In the letter M P Joseph said that “Kerala has a huge migrant population. Over 5 years ago that the state had about 2.5 million migrant labourers. The numbers today would be around 3.2 to 3.3 million which represents about a tenth of the population of the state. After the march held at Paippad migrant labourers are considered as the guest workers. Workers will not be always calm and poised by the appeals of Kerala Government. So to make them understand the danger of spreading virus certain steps should put forth and followed. Amongst the steps that the ILO could take would be to request the Union Labour Minister to ask the Chief Minsters and Labour Ministers of the states from which the migrant workers come, to appeal to the workers from their state in Kerala not to insist on travelling back home now and to support the efforts of the Union Government and the Kerala Government to contain the virus through respecting the lockdown and cooperating with the district authorities here in Kerala.”

He also added “an appeal from the Chief Ministers, Labour Ministers etc. of their home state in their own languages would go a long way in calming the anxieties of the migrant workers now in Kerala. The ILO would be best positioned to request the Union Labour Minister and the Union Labour Secretary to appeal to the Chief Minister, the Labour Minister of the sending states and to their MPs and MLAs – to appeal to their workers in Kerala as above.”

This letter shows the responsibility of a dutiful citizen to make his fellow beings understand the seriousness of the outbreak. After stepping out from the duties and his position M P Joseph is still working for the well being of the workers. Worker migrate to different state to make our life ease and also to build their dreams. Its our duty to protect them and make them understand the outcome.

 

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