Around 10,000 persons from State stranded in Mumbai

Update: 2010-09-15 00:00 GMT

GUWAHATI, March 31 - Around 10,000 persons from Assam are stranded in Mumbai and the officers of the Assam Bhawan are flooded with distress calls as some landlords have asked them to vacate houses. However, on the positive side, the Government of Assam has allocated Rs 10 lakh to the Assam Bhawan to help out the stranded people.

When contacted by The Assam Tribune, the Joint Resident Commissioner of the Assam Bhawan, Mumbai, Debashis Sarma said that a number of cancer patients from the State, who went to Mumbai for treatment, are also stranded in Mumbai and they are accommodated in the Bhawan and the Arogya Bhawans of the Deepsikha Foundation.

Sarma said that according to records available so far, around 10,000 people from Assam are staying in Mumbai and a large chunk of them work in ice factories and some work as security guards and spot boys and light boys in the film industry. Because of the countrywide lockdown, most of them are facing serious hardship as they did not have the means to sustain for a long period and the prices of the essential commodities also increased in the neighbourhood markets. There is a third category of persons from Assam who are stranded in Mumbai. They are the ones who went as tourists and for some other works and some are running short of funds to stay in hotels.

Among the cancer patients, around 50 per cent managed to return the day before the lock down started and 43 are staying in Assam Bhawan, while, around 60 are staying in the Arogya Bhawans of the Deepsikha foundation.

Sarma said that majority of those stranded in Mumbai want to return home, but there is no way to do so because of the lockdown. The Assam Bhawan officers and employees got in touch with some non Government organizations to provide food and other essentials. However, Sarma admitted that it is not possible to reach out to all the persons stranded in Mumbai. As the Government released Rs 10 lakh, the Assam Bhawan authorities have procured essential items like rice, dal, mustard oil and salt from the wholesale market and those will be distributed among the stranded person.

Another major problem is that in some places the landlords have asked the tenants to vacate their houses and Maharashtra police personnel are providing assistance to the tenants in this regard. Yesterday, four youths got in touch with Assam Bhawan saying that their house owner asked them to vacate houses within a couple of days. �We immediately contacted police and the officer in charge of the local police station went to the area to settle the matter. In other parts of Mumbai also we are receiving such support from the police,� Sarma added.

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