These workers were brought to the school on May 19 after a train was scheduled to take them to their home state. After the train was rescheduled to Friday, the workers continued to stay there with the food being provided by the revenue officials.
However, the train was again cancelled on Saturday following which the officials asked the workers to return to their places of stay. The workers, who had vacated their rented places, refused to move out and asked the officials to arrange for transport to their hometowns.
Kamlesh Kumar, a migrant worker from UP, said he along with his friends had vacated their rooms. “We were working in a hotel at Sriperumbudur. We were not paid during the lockdown. We had to borrow from friends in our home town to pay the rent even. How can they expect us to go back,” he asked.
A revenue official of Kancheepuram district said the workers were agitated following the repeated cancellation of the trains. “The school do not have adequate potable water and toilet facilities. Hence we asked them to move to a camp at Eaichur. If they move there, the workers can undergo the medical check-up and be ready for the rescheduled train,” said the official adding the workers have agreed to move after the revenue division officer of Kancheepuram pacified them.
Meanwhile, hundreds of migrant workers protested in Pallavaram on Saturday seeking the government to enable their travel back to their hometown.
After the workers, mostly from Bihar and Jharkhand, gathered at Nagalkeni near Pallavaram, Shankar Nagar police assured them that the first set of 500 workers will be sent home in a couple of days on special trains. Following the assurance, the workers gave up the protest and dispersed.
In Thiruperumputhur village near Sriperumbudur too, migrant workers resorted to similar protest claiming that government officials are yet to fulfil their promise to arrange transport to send them to their home state.