Leh offers food grain counseling sessions for migrant workers

NEW DELHI: The Leh The administration has established a template to deal with migrant workers by offering counseling sessions along with food grains to calm the nerves of approximately 7,800 daily bets stuck in the cold and inhospitable terrain due to the closure. Simultaneously, the authorities have persuaded the banks to deliver cash to the Garib Yojana in the villages at home.

Counselors at SNM Hospital have been pressed into service for counseling migrants within a radius of 30 kms of Leh. Some 100-150 laborers are being counseled at a time, maintaining Covid-19 protocols. Health centers are doing it at ‘tehsil’ level, ”Leh deputy commissioner told TOI.

Stanzin Tseyangs, a clinical psychologist at the hospital, told TOI that food and an uncertain future are the main reason for anxiety among migrants. The first problem is food. How much government ration is coming. How long will it continue. The following is how long the situation continues; if they are to regain their livelihoods or if they are to stay or return. These are the things that stir their minds, ”he said.

Vaishya said the counseling sessions explain health protocols and assure workers that the government is here to take care of them. The administration is giving 2.5 kg of rice, 1 kg of legumes and cooking oil to each worker, which is expected to last 8-9 days. There is no atta (wheat flour) and salt etc. is given as needed as the administration scrapes the bottom of the winter stock. There are still 10 days for fresh supplies.

For people living in distant villages and isolated villages, the administration persuaded banks to deliver cash to beneficiaries under the Garib Kalyan Yojana Center. “These beneficiaries are trapped in their villages/hamlets and cannot go to banks or ATMs due to the blockade. Bank teams with a list of beneficiaries will visit the villages, verify credentials before beginning the withdrawal process. A tehsil/village level official will re-verify the beneficiaries before handing over the cash, ”Vaishya said.

There are around 5,500 workers from outside Ladakh, mainly from Bihar and. The rest are from Kargil and Zanskar who were unable to return due to the blockade. Tens of thousands of workers and semi-skilled workers descend on Ladakh in search of work. Most of the workforce is employed for road construction or construction. They return to their home states once winter begins, with a few thousand people delaying their return as long as possible.