COVID-19 engulfed this country in March, 2020 and continues till date changing its face from time to time. Different mutations in the virus have made it dangerous and fatal at times. To provide food security to impoverished persons is the bounden duty of all States and Governments. Those migrant workers who possess a ration card and are covered under The National Food Security Act, 2013 can avail dry ration utilizing their card even in States where they have migrated for work. There is a large number of migrants who do not possess any card. Lately, all Governments have been taking steps and taking measures to ensure no human being dies out of hunger. We direct, States to bring in place an appropriate scheme for distribution of dry ration to migrant labourers for which it shall be open for States to ask for allocation of additional foodgrains from Central Government, who, as directed, shall provide. States who have not yet implemented ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme should implement the same. States should advertise places where facility of community kitchen/subsidized meals is provided.
When unorganized workers are waiting for registration and are waiting to reap the benefit of various welfare schemes of States and Centre, apathy and lackadaisical attitude by Ministry of Labour and Employment is unpardonable. Unless registration is complete, tall claims by all States and Union that they have implemented various welfare schemes for migrant workers and unorganized workers remain only on paper without giving any benefit. We direct, process of registration of unorganized labourers/migrant workers is completed at the earliest, but not later than 31.12.2021. All concerned States/Union Territories and Licence Holders/Contractors and others to cooperate with Central Government.
– Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, In Re: Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers, [Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No. 6 of 2020] decided on 29.06.2021.