Always a captain: Bhaichung Bhutia to shelter over 100 migrant workers in Sikkim

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Image Courtesy: Reuters/PTI
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The novel Coronavirus pandemic has found its way into India, and as many other countries of the world, the country is experiencing a 21-day nationwide lock down. While citizens are advised to stay indoors as to ‘break the chain’ of the virus contamination, it has been troublesome for the poor, migrant workers of the country who were employed in many parts of the country. Unable to return to their homes in scarcity of public transport, the workers are facing a worrying situation. However, former Indian Football Team captain and a sporting icon of the country Bhaichung Bhutia, has come up with a generous offer to provide accommodation to the workers in him home state Sikkim.

Image Courtesy: Reuters/PTI

Bhutia, who hails from the small town of Tinkitam in South Sikkim, has a property under construction in Lumsey, Tadong in the city of Gangtok. The former international has offered the property as a shelter to the workers who were employed in the state, until the lock down situation in the country restores amidst the COVID-19 woes.

Speaking to The Times of India, Bhutia opened up about his generous offer to shelter the workers.

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“The people who are affected the most during the lockdown are migrant workers. There was a huge cue in Sikkim border yesterday. I’ve got a new unfinished building in Gangtok. It should accommodate about 100 people,” the former striker said in the interview.

Along with providing a roof over their head, Bhutia has also decided to help the workers with ration and essential commodities, and has decided to team up with local authorities to benefit them.

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“I’ve offered any migrant worker who does not have any house to stay there. We will also provide them some basic ration. I’m also working with the local authorities to see how it can be done. We can support and work together,” the 43 year old added.

Although the number of affected patients in the country has already crossed 1400, with 32 deaths, there hasn’t been any reported cases in Sikkim.

“Not a single case of corona positive as of now,” Bhutia continued, “so that they (migarant workers) are safe from corona. Doctors can also check. We are trying to request the government.”

“At least they will be safe from the Coronavirus in the house when the borders have been shut and locked. They are badly hit they don’t have anywhere to go,” he concluded.

The building that will be used as a shelter for the workers, is co-owned by United Sikkim Football Club (USFC). On Facebook, Bhutia posted a message about his benevolent endeavour, and also added the contact info of Arjun Rai, the senior manager of USFC.

“I and United Sikkim Football Club would like to offer shelter to those in need in my building in Lumsey, Tadong. Kindly get in touch with me on Facebook or call our Senior manager USFC, Mr Arjun Rai phn. 9434117465 for any help regarding this issue,” Bhutia wrote on Facebook.

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