Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written letters to her counterparts in 18 states requesting them to provide food, shelter and medicines to hundreds of people from Bengal stuck there due to the complete lockdown amid the coronavirus scare.
Sources at the state secretariat said Banerjee has written to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
In her letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Banerjee wrote that Bengal has many semi-skilled and unskilled workers in different parts of the country who have been unable to travel back due to the lockdown.
“We have received information that many such workers who are ordinary resident of Bengal are stuck in your state too. We are getting SOS calls from them," she wrote. "They are generally in groups of 50-100 and can be easily identified by the local administration. Since it is not possible for us to send any help to them, I take the opportunity to request you to kindly ask your administration to provide them with basic shelter, food and medical support during this period of crisis. We, in Bengal are taking care of people from other states who stuck here in Bengal.”
Banerjee has asked the state chief secretary to pass along to the 18 states the details of such people for "humanitarian support".