We have entered the 4th phase of the Nation wide lockdown and in all these days we have witnessed the horrible plight of the migrant workers stranded across the country, thrown out by their landlords, without food, without wages with walking back to their home states being the only option left amid the pandemic gloom. These two months have been darkest days in their lives. Our social media feeds were flooded with several heartbreaking pictures. Here we take a look at some of those painful stories that pierced our heart.
1. 16 Migrants Crushed to Death by Train in Aurangabad
Sixteen migrant workers in a group of twenty were killed after a freight train ran over them as they slept on the tracks in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
After having lost their jobs, stranded and hungry and with no transport available ,this group of 20 migrant labourers took up a difficult journey of walking back to their homes in Aurangabad city and beyond.
They decided to walk on railroad tracks, To avoid the highway, where they risked being stopped.. Tired and exhausted after walking for about 36 km, these migrant workers sat on the track to take some rest and gradually fell asleep unknowing that it was the final sleep of death.
2. Symbol of India’s migrant tragedy
This photograph of Rampukar Pandit sobbing by a road in Delhi, became a snapshot of India’s migrant tragedy
Rampukar’s wife called from Bihar’s Begusarai to tell him that their one-year-old baby who had a stomach infection, and would die. Unable to get a bus or a train, he set off on foot with one thought in his head — “to see the child one last time” but was reportedly stopped by Ghaziabad Police near UP Gate. A PTI photo of him breaking down over a phone call at the UP border, broke the Internet as he stuck stranded near the Gazipur flyover for the next three days
3. 15-Years Old Girl Carries Injured Father On Bicycle For 1,200 Km From Delhi To Bihar
The Class Vll student Jyothi and her father began their 1,200 km-long journey on May 10 from Delhi after they managed to spend Rs 500 to buy a bicycle. Their journey ended on May 16 after they reached Darbhanga.
Not only was the journey extremely physically challenging, the highways and inner city roads aren’t safe for women and there were all chances of being hit from a vehicle since unfortunately, accidents have claimed the lives of many who were travelling home.
Jyothi’s father used to drive an e-rickshaw in Delhi. But he became unemployed because he had to surrender the rickshaw to its owner after the lockdown. To make the situation worse he also suffered a leg injury.
4. Dying migrant forced out of truck friend sticks with him till last breath
Amrit was part of a group of migrant workers travelling from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh in a truck. After losing job at a garment factory in Surat, with no other work at hand and desperate to return home he paid Rs 4,000 for standing room in the back of a truck bound for Indore. But he fell ill on the way, and as a result, he was taken off the truck near Shivpuri. His friend, Yakoob, was the only one who chose to stay behind.
In the picture, as Amrit lies on his lap, Yakoob is seen as calling for help from the passersby. But there was none stopping. A local resident took a snapshot of the moving scene but by the time it was widely circulated, the friend was dead.
5. Migrant Woman gives birth on roadside, and marches on for 160km
Another similiar story of hardship, having lost her job in Nashik due to the closing of industries. With no food and money left, Shakuntala, decided to risk the 1,000km march from Nashik to Satna in the ninth month of pregnancy.
She was traveling on foot from Nashik in Maharashtra to Satna in Madhya Pradesh. What’s more harrowing is the fact that just after two hours after her delivery, she walked another 150 km, before she could find any help.
There is a similar incident where a woman migrant was forced to give birth under a roadside tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Lalitpur district after having covered a distance of 500 kilometers on foot.
6. Migrant worker wheels son sleeping on suitcase
An exhausted woman drags her suitcase on a highway in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra. Her four years old son, worn out by an arduous journey, sleeps on the m, sleeps on the suitcase. They were walking all the way, on their 800 km-long journey, from Punjab. The incident wrenched the hearts of many.
The mother says, she has been heading towards her hometown Jhansi that is around 230 km away from Agra. She is among a group of labourers who have been returning from Punjab on foot in the absence of any means of transport.
7. Child run over by truck as migrant parents rush to catch bus
A six-year-old girl was run over by a truck while she was running to board a bus with her parents on Tuesday morning at the Etawah-Mainpuri border in Kishni area..
The family had travelled from Gurugram and was going to the Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh.
The accident happened when the family, along with 13 other migrants, had been de-boarded from an ‘unsafe’ truck and was asked to sit in a bus on the Mainpuri border.
Internet is flooded with hundreds of painful stories as these but the question is
Why are they risking such difficult journey?
Who is to be blamed?
Few days ago, television cameras flashed live footage of a middle-aged man lugging his belongings in a gunny bag, somewhere near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border. He was on his way to his hometown of Bihar, about 1,160 km away. On being asked about his risky and arduous journey on foot, his reply was more heart-wrenching than his immediate physical ordeal: “If not from the virus, with no work, if I won’t get back home soon, will surely die of hunger!
The stories has once again exposed the plight of the poor in the country. They would not have dared to make such a difficult journey if they had not run short of basic amenities to keep themselves alive in the lockdown,
It clearly proves Government’s discrimination against the poor and their lack of apathy towards them. If the government had taken care of them things would have been different.
It’s high time to accept that the Government has failed them.