Coronavirus Lockdown: Uttar Pradesh Migrant Workers Forced To Walk 150 Km As Govt Suspends Transport Services
Bunty, a daily wage labourer is amongst several daily wage workers who were left stranded after the government announced a complete lockdown for 21 days on Tuesday.
Soon after the announcement, people hoarded the grocery shops in panic leaving nothing for labourers like Bunty. The situation became even worse as the transport services were also suspended leaving the labourers no choice but to walk to their villages in Uttar Pradesh hundreds of kilometres away.
Bunty is walking with a toddler on his shoulder, to his village which is 150kms from Delhi. It will take him two days to reach home with his three children. They have neither money nor food for this journey. "What would we eat here? One cannot eat stones," NDTV quoted his wife as saying.
Bunty's wife is walking beside him with a huge blue bag carrying all their possessions perched on her head. Right behind them is another family where the father is carrying his young son on his shoulders, while his wife walks along holding the hand of their young daughter. "No one helps you out Delhi, the way they do in the village," said Bunty.
"We can even have Rotis with salt or chutney. It will be peaceful. But here, we have nothing. No helps anyone in Delhi," he added.
Risking sealed borders, vigilant police personnel directed to ensure that people do not leave their homes except for most pressing need, thousands of labours like Bunty have started their journey to their hometowns.
PM Modi while addressing the nation had said that the 21-day lockdown may seem to be a long time, but this is the only way to ensure everyone is safe". He suggested that those who had the capacity, "Take the pledge to take care of nine families for 21 days", during his interaction with his constituents in Varanasi.
The BJP has instructed each of its 1 crore workers to feed five people through the 21-day lockdown. At a meeting on Wednesday, party chief JP Nadda made the decision, which the party hopes, will help five crore people fed.