Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) says it provides over 2.25 lakh meals per day through Annapurna Canteens and various NGOs, but migrant workers say they don't get breakfast at the shelter homes set up by the civic authority.
But wait, don't say it. These workers are not here for the breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. They just want to go home.
Some 1500 migrant workers, homeless people and others take shelter here, most of them from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and Maharashtra.
At one shelter camp set at the Exhibition Grounds in Nampally, migrant workers said food is inordinately delayed, sometimes to wait for a VIP to turn up to pose for pictures.
One worker from Maharashtra, named Anurag, said, "I had my last meal at 7 pm last night. We have not had any food till 12:30 pm today. Sometimes, lunch is delayed since a political leader or a bureaucrat wants to pose for a picture."
Sometimes, lunch is not served till 2 pm, making it very difficult for people suffering from diabetes and BP.
"We urge politicians and bureaucrats not to visit shelter camps. Since many of us work in hotels, providing rations would be a great help. We can make our own breakfast,” Anurag said.
With 10 days to go to the end of the lockdown period in Telangana, migrant workers in Hyderabad are not wlling to stay on despite assurances given by the state government. Some 28 migrant workers, who were intercepted while travelling from Nagpur to Chennai and lodged in a shelter, begged officials to let them go. Another group of 40 migrant workers were getting ready to walk to their village in Bihar when the state lockdown is lifted on May 7. Despite being exhausted, migrant workers have been begging officials to let them go.
One group of 28 young workers, lodged in a shelter in West Marredpally, were seen weeping as they begged to be allowed on their way to Tamil Nadu.
"We started out on foot from Nagpur and somewhere outside that city we boarded a lorry to reach Hyderabad. We were caught by the police and put in this shelter home. Our friends reached Tamil Nadu travelling via Maharashtra and Karnataka. The authorities in Hyderabad have said we cannot even leave the city, forget going to Tamil Nadu. I do not understand why the authorities would have a problem with us going. Just for this food and shelter, we cannot live without our families," wept Srinivas, a Tamil migrant worker, in a shelter home in West Marredpally.
One group of about 40 migrant workers, influenced by news going viral on social media that the Telangana lockdown might be extended, packed their bags and started out from LB Nagar to walk to Bihar. They were intercepted at Uppal by the local police and shifted to a shelter nearby.
"We have been hearing news that the lockdown will continue for months. We cannot be dependent on donations. We will have plain rice or nothing in our villages but we cannot stay here for one more month. I request government and transport us to our state immediately or else leave us alone we will walk to Bihar,” said Shyam Sunder, another worker.