Joining in citizens’ efforts to help stranded migrant workers reach home, alumni of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru successfully sent home 180 workers from Mumbai to Ranchi on Sunday. This was the second chartered flight arranged by the alumni between the two destinations; the first one on May 28 helped 174 people reach home.
The ‘NLS mission aahan vahaan’ was conceptualised by the NLSIU Bengaluru batch of 2000. One of them, Priyanka Roy, who now has a corporate law practice in Mumbai, told The Hindu that they decided to focus on regions that are not easily accessible from Mumbai.
“There is a huge database of workers from every State. We were largely concentrating on the eastern States because they are not easily accessible from Mumbai. On Wednesday, another flight will carry workers from Mumbai to Bhubaneshwar,” she said.
The alumni ruled out buses and railways as the former would mean long and tedious journeys while the latter would end their intervention with handing over a list of names to the authorities concerned.
“We wanted to make a meaningful intervention and fill in the gap. So we started talking to airlines. We decided to charter flights. The Jharkhand government has been making great arrangements for last-mile connectivity due to which people are able to reach home in 24 hours. We are working with a lot of NGOs too,” Ms. Roy said.
On Sunday’s flight, there were infants as young as 17 days old, as well as a senior citizen, who does not even own a phone but was able to reach the airport after a cab was arranged for her.
The first flight was entirely crowd-funded by the NLS alumni network, but since then they have been getting funding from corporates and others for subsequent initiatives.