April 05, 2020
WEST BENGAL: Left Activists Stand by People in the Time of Crisis

From our correspondent

LEFT parties and mass organisations in West Bengal are busy fighting corona disaster and its fall outs, in a courageous and energetic manner. While abiding by the restrictions imposed through lockdown, they are out to help the needy in multifarious ways.

CITU has opened up helplines for tens of thousands of migrant workers, working outside the state. They are mostly stranded in different states. CITU has contacted respective state centres and extended whatever help they could do. A central helpline has been opened at the CITU state centre. The phone rang practically all through the days. CITU activists in Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamilnadu have quickly reached to hapless workers and provided them with food and other essentials. The response from CITU in other states was overwhelming and it certainly provided a sense of security to not only those workers but to their relatives as well.

For example, in Mangalore in Karnataka, a team of migrant workers from Burdwan was stranded without food. A call from them to CITU leaders in Bengal was communicated to CITU leaders in Mangalore. They reached with food and essentials within no time. “We never thought we would get things so quickly”, said surprised workers.

Thousands have already reached Bengal somehow. Even after reaching the state, they were stranded in many places. Local CITU and other mass organisations reached to them and provided succor. In one case, workers were walking back to their villages when they became ill after travelling nearly 200 kms. They were stranded in Shaktigarh. Local people rang DYFI helpline and DYFI activists rushed in motor bikes, took them to Burdwan hospital and provided them with food.

In localities, local CPI(M), DYFI and SFI activists have also opened up helplines. They collected food and distributed to poor people wherever possible. Many elderly people called up and the activists brought them vegetables and daily needs. In numerous cases, DYFI activists brought them medicines they needed. DYFI activists have collected food and supplied to people living in slums in Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Siliguri, Hooghly, Howrah.  In Kharagpur, CPI(M) activists are providing food to more than 400 families. Party offices in many areas are now busy with preparation of food packets, medicines and essentials.

In many cases, Left activists have organised ambulances and cars to rescue sick people and sent them to hospitals. They have also supplied masks, sanitizers, gloves to houses. Mass organisation workers have themselves prepared sanitizers and distributed in many areas. SFI and AIDWA have supplied sanitary napkins to women. The continuous show of solidarity by Left organisations has already earned them the distinction of ‘Red Volunteers’.

Left activists have started voluntary blood donation throughout the state. In lockdown situation, no camp is being organised. CPI(M), DYFI, SFI activists are going to hospitals and contributing in blood banks. On April 2, the martyrdom day of Comrade Sudipta Gupta, SFI organised blood donation in blood banks. Vigyan Mancha and other organisations have also organised intensive campaign of consciousness about the health regulations.