Varanasi distt admn shifts 400 stranded migrants to shelter homes, provides food
Around 400 stranded people, including homeless and sadhus who usually keep roaming in the lanes and ghats, were shifted to shelter homes created by Varanasi Municipal Corporation on Friday.
The municipal corporation with the help of district administration is providing food and other facilities to the people at these shelter homes.
Avinash Mistri, a resident of West Bengal, who is now stranded in the city and staying in a shelter home in Bhelupur area here said: “I came here on Thursday evening. The volunteers give me food twice daily. I want to go back to my village in West Bengal, but there is no means of transportation available to travel. Therefore, I have decided to stay here till the situation improves.”
He had arrived in Kashi before Mahashivaratri in search of work. He worked as a mason at a construction site, but became jobless after the work at the site suspended following the lockdown, which has been imposed to check the spread of coronavirus.
Sushil Kumar, a daily wage earner from Nepal, also staying in the shelter home said that he had been living in the city for the past two months. “I thought, I will go back to Nepal after ‘Janta Curfew’, but then lockdown was imposed. Several people like me are stranded in the city. Most of them are daily wage earners and labourers,” he said.
One of the three youths were sitting on a blanket rolled out in a shelter home in Golgadda area here, said that he was shifted to shelter home on Thursday evening from the city station area where he was stranded for the last two days.
He was not interested in disclosing his name. He said that he belonged to adjoining state of Bihar and wanted to return there, but couldn’t do so because the train and bus services were suspended due to lockdown.
Official at the shelter homes have asked people to maintain at least a meter of distance from each other.
Varanasi Municipal Corporation has set up around 18 shelter homes across the city. A shelter home each has been created in Khidkiya Ghat, Golgadda, Alaipura, Sikraul, Town Hall, Ghasiyari Tola and Lalita Cinema.
Around 400 people, including 116 labourers from adjoining districts and states, 26 homeless people found roaming at the city streets, 50 people, including poor and sadhus from Dashashwamedh Ghat and several from other localities were shifted to the shelter homes.
On Friday, four labourers, including two homeless who came from outside the district were shifted to Nehru Market and Lahartara Shelter Home. In addition, two people were shifted to Rainbasera (night shelter home) in Beniabagh. Rotary club provided ration to the 32 labourers at their site of shelter in Ganpat Nagar, Varunapar.
Meanwhile, municipal commissioner Gaurang Rathi said that the number of shelter home would be increased further. He said that the food was being provided twice to the people with the help of district administration.
Supervisors have been deployed at the shelter homes. They would take care of their facilities and would ensure that the people in shelter homes get food on time.
District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said that food packets were being provided daily to the people in shelter homes.