The Jharkhand government has begun the process of setting up community kitchens along the highways to provide food and water free of cost to migrants returning home, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said.
The kitchens are coming up at a distance of 20 km from each other on the national as well as the state highways in the state, he said.
The CM said 94 spots have been identified along the highways for the purpose and they will begin functioning soon. The respective district administration will run the kitchens, the CM said on Wednesday.
These kitchens are in addition to the state governments 6,432 "Didi Kitchens" already set up during the Covid-related lockdown period, feeding two meals to about 45,000 people every day, Soren said.
Along with its own natives, Soren said the facility would also be extended to migrants from other states passing through Jharkhand. "Jharkhand has to set an example of humanity and harmony, as people should not lose humane (touch)," Soren said.
The chief minister said that lodging and food arrangements for six lakh out of nearly seven lakh stranded migrant workers of Jharkhand have been made in coordination with the states concerned.
"Buses are being sent for those mazdoors (labourers) who want to return home, besides bringing them by Shramik trains," Soren said.
After the chief minister's instruction, migrants spotted on national/state highways walking to their destinations, are helped by the patrolling teams by offering them food packets, official sources said.
They are gathered at a safe place and after accumulation of good numbers they are sent to their areas by the state-sponsored buses, they added.