SMS confirmation adds to the confusion among migrants

SMS confirmation adds to the confusion among migrants desperate to get back home

Many labourers who have registered on the Karnataka government's Seva Sindhu  portal to seek train services to travel back home are being asked to confirm their demand. However, instead of placing a call for confirmation, the government has been sending automated messages.

A complicated communication system put in place by the state government has added to the confusion among the migrant labourers desperate to go home for the last two months.

Many labourers who have registered on the Karnataka government's Seva Sindhu  portal to seek train services to travel back home are being asked to confirm their demand. However, instead of placing a call for confirmation, the government has been sending automated messages.

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"If you want to travel by Shramik trains, SMS 'YES' followed by last 6 digits of Seva Sindhu application no to 161 from registered mobile before 6pm 26th May," said one message, which was received by many migrant labourers on Tuesday afternoon.

The AICCTU stated that many workers sent the SMS as instructed only to receive an error message. As many workers do not own phones, they had registered from others' phones. "Many simply don't understand how to do this," it said, adding that the arbitrary deadline of 6 pm has caused anxiety to many persons.

Activist Lekha Adavi noted that workers were not proficient with technology. "This exercise, as good-hearted as it is, is going to alienate workers. It is disappointing, especially when lakhs of workers have to figure out how to send an SMS before 6 pm today!" she said.

Another activist from Sarjapura Rising said the government's message was a cruel joke on migrant labourers. "Eighteen West Bengal migrants left from Sarjapura after reading above such an SMS, they were under the impression that they need to reach the railway station before 6 pm. It's a cruel joke being played on the already desperate, penniless and homeless people," she said.

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