Karnataka govt launches food helpline, identifies places to accommodate homeless

Lockdown has pushed a huge population of migrant workers to a state of desperation

sudhakar-karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K. Sudhakar | via Facebook

Karnataka government has launched a food helpline to cater to the most vulnerable sections of people—homeless, daily wagers and migrant workers. The helpline, 155 214, launched by Medical Education Minister Dr K. Sudhakar on Saturday, hopes to reach out to the needy, who will be provided food from the nearest Indira Canteen—reopened after it was briefly shutdown owing to crowding issues—or with the assistance of NGOs in the respective localities.

The COVID-19 lockdown in Karnataka has pushed a huge population of migrant workers to a state of desperation. With public transport halting all services, and food and other resources drying up, many daily wagers and their families have decided to walk hundreds of kilometres to reach home.

A group of workers who came from Goa, who are now stranded at Kankumbi village in Belagavi due to hunger and fatigue, are determined to reach their village in Vijayapura.

Many migrant workers in Mysuru have set out on foot, hoping to reach their village in Ballari, some 400km away.

Many migrant workers who are stranded in Bengaluru are afraid to venture out, fearing police lathicharge.

The government, which launched the food helpline, has also identified community halls, wedding halls and boarding schools to accommodate the homeless and the migrant workers.

A website (https://covid19.karnataka.gov.in/wordpress/) was also launched to educate the people on the symptoms of the deadly virus infection, the precautions to be taken, status report on the COVID-19 outbreak in the state, regular updates related to the outbreak, testing and treatment norms and the lockdown rules.

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