Short of food and money, 40000 Kashmiri labourers cry for evacuation

Srinagar: More than 40,000 labourers of Jammu and Kashmir are stranded in various states without food and money.

“I have not eaten food for the last four days. I have no money to buy food. Two weeks before some locals provided us flour and that too has been exhausted. Around 30 people from Kupwara district are stuck here,” said Ajaz Ahmad Wani of Kupwara district, who works in a hotel at Himachal.  

Another Kashmiri labourer Shafi Haji of Anantnag is stuck in Maharashtra with five other colleagues. “Five of us are cramped in a single room. Our pockets are running empty. Whatever we had earned has been spent on food and room rent,” Haji said.

Moreover, many Kashmiris who are working in various companies across the country have also requested authorities for evacuation. “We are ready to go to the quarantine centre in Kashmir. We are scared here,” said Aaqib Mushtaq of Nishat who works for a travel company at Noida.

Like Aaqib, 300 others are also stuck in different states including Kolkata, Goa, Kerala, and Delhi. 

“I am worried about the safety of my brother who is alone in Maharashtra without food and money. We request the government to evacuate the stranded Kashmiri from various parts of the country,” said Yusuf Ahmad, whose younger brother is stranded in Maharashtra.

Director, Labour Commission Abdul Rashid War said there are around 30,000 to 40,000 labourers from J&K in various states of the country. 

“Every day we receive calls from labourers stuck in various states. They complain about the shortage of food and money. We have contacted the concerned authorities for providing immediate help to our people,” he said

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole said the evacuation of the stranded Kashmiris is not possible for now.  “Then we have to evacuate non-locals in Kashmir as well. It will be fraught with risk. I request people to stay safe wherever they are. If any assistance is needed, they can call our Helpline Numbers (24611210, 24611108, 24615475),” he said.

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