The transgender community, which often fights stigma and ostracisation, have come forward to help migrant labourers struggling to return home amid the lockdown.
According to a report in News18, transgenders in Bareilly and Prayagraj cities of Uttar Pradesh are providing food and water to those daily wage workers, who are on their way home.
In Bareilly, at least 50 people from the community provide food to 100 migrants every day.
Asserting that humanity is the best service, Prema, a transgender, told News18, “There are several families who are daily wage workers and they depend on daily earning for food.”
She said that about 50 people from her community have decided to open a community kitchen to serve hot, freshly cooked food to these daily-wagers, but they are awaiting necessary permission from the local administration.
As of now, they are giving fruits and biscuits to the migrants.
A similar story has emerged from Prayagraj, erstwhile Allahabad, where a group of transgender people are providing daily-wagers and the homeless with food and water bottles.
Ishwari, a transgender, told the channel, "We have stationed ourselves near the temples because most of the homeless and migrants come here for relief.”
“We are using our savings to help people caught in the lockdown,” she added.
Rajesh, a migrant labourer, who works in a biscuit factory in Meerut and is travelling on foot via Prayagraj to Varanasi, where he lives, said that even though people ridicule trangenders, Ishwari has been his saviour. “After going without food for almost 70 hours, they gave me food and water,” he said.
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Ishwari said that she and her group are following all the guidelines of the district administration and were even educating people about COVID-19.
Thousands of migrant labourers are heading to their home towns on foot due to the panic caused by the nation-wide lockdown, enforced as a measure to curtail the spread of coronavirus. In his first Mann Ki Baat address, PM Modi sought forgiveness from these people.
“I apologise for taking harsh steps over COVID-19 that caused inconvenience to common man,” PM Modi said, addressing the massive turmoil that millions of migrant workers and other marginalised sections of the country have found themselves in since the lockdown.