Mysore/Mysuru: The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is adopting different ways and means to stop migrant workers presently lodged in shelter homes in city from leaving and keeping them free from stress and boredom by introducing them to yoga, sports, meditation and other recreational activities including music, dance, carom, paper-bag making, etc.
The initiative is part of the administration’s efforts to provide some relief to these workers from other States, who are away from their families, besides providing them with food, daily use items and shelter as long as the lockdown is in force.
An elaborate shelter home has been established at Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry on Vinoba Road and over 97 migrants, some with families, have been sheltered and provided food. Along with food, the MCC is adopting a strategy to keep them engaged by asking them to play outdoor games like cricket.
Most migrant workers and their families generally stay inside the Choultry the whole day and the authorities are trying to change that. As of now they play cricket in the afternoon and they are not allowed to go out. While the steps of the Choultry act as a spectator gallery-cum-pavilion, empty black water can kept on a stone serves as a wicket.
All precautions are taken while playing the game including social distancing and wearing of masks. While the game is on, the steps are occupied by the women and elderly, cheering their respective family member.
The MCC has provided a bat and ball and from today, carom boards will be supplied here and also they will be trained in paper-bag making in coordination with HOPCOMS. “We are also planning entertainment activities such as dance and music,” MCC Additional Commissioner N.M. Shashikumar told Star of Mysore.
The MCC had made arrangements for migrants to play and unwind last year too during the first wave. “They have no work now and their minds are idle. We want to break the monotony and keep them engaged within the boundary walls of the Choultry,” Shashikumar said.
Soon after the lockdown was announced, a large section of migrant workers started marching out to go back to their native places. While many left, a large number stayed back, seeking shelter in government-run homes. “We have sent many to Bengaluru by arranging special buses and from there they caught trains to their native places in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal,” Shashikumar said.
Migrant population stranded in front of temples, hospitals, bus stands and railway station have been brought and housed here. Also included in the group are workers from Chitradurga and Raichur. The migrants too have their own recreational activities to keep them slipping into depression. They are safe inside their shelter and their every need including essentials and healthcare services are taken care of.
Some of them, however, had started to feel homesick and were showing signs of depression as they want to go back. “All facilities are good here. We haven’t done anything wrong but still we are locked in. For how long can one remain here,” said Deepak, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh.
Nodal Officer Dr. Bhyralingaiah said that industrialists have visited the Choultry and have informed that there is a requirement of 25 workers and the interested migrants will be sent as a workforce. This would help the migrants earn some money in this lockdown time, he added.
“We are trying to keep them engaged in different activities to bust stress, as well as help them utilise time. This will help them relax and not feel tempted to go back home. It is important to treat them with warmth and dignity,” said a volunteer who distributes food and snacks supplied to the Choultry by Rotary.