With more than 13.74 lakh migrant labourers having returned to their homes in Madhya Pradesh so far during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, the state government faces a big challenge of providing them jobs.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a televised address last week said Madhya Pradesh’s economy has collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labourers Chhidami Kushwaha (35) and his wife Sagun Devi (32), who returned to their native Gopalpura village in Tikamgarh district from Kanjhawala village in Delhi on May 18, claimed on Monday that they have so far not received any help from the Madhya Pradesh government.

Chhidami Kushwaha’s brother Suraj Kushwaha (28) also returned with them.

“We three worked as building construction labourers in Delhi and Haryana. We have not received any financial help from the state government yet. My father Sukhlal Kushwaha is looking after our needs now,” Chhidami Kushwaha told PTI.

The three of them do not have active job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in Tikamgarh, he said.

“We migrated to Haryana a couple of years ago for a better livelihood. But, we had to return last week because of the coronavirus outbreak. So, we did not renew our job cards. If we had active cards we would have got Rs 202 wages a day for work under MGNREGA. Right now we are jobless,” he said.

Another migrant worker Parmanand Kushwaha, who worked as a welder in building constructions in Delhi, also returned to Gopalpura recently due to the lockdown.

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