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Migrants en route to native villages flood Haryana roads

March 29, 2020 05:31 AM

COURTESY HT MARCH 29

Migrants en route to native villages flood Haryana roads

HT Correspondents

letterschd@hindustantimes.com

Hisar/Rohtak : Though the government has imposed a nationwide lockdown in hopes of arresting the spread of novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), a large flock of labourers could be seen on National Highway-9 on Saturday.

The motley group were en route to their native villages in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on foot as their source of livelihood had dried up due to the coronavirus lockdown. Many of them had started their journey from Punjab’s Bhathinda on Friday.

22-year-old Sumit Kumar says, “I started from Bathinda on Friday. Two of my relatives left for Dholpur in Rajasthan two days ago and have reached Bhiwani.”

Ram Prasad, who also started from Bathinda on Friday afternoon, said he wanted to go to Lucknow: “When we started our pockets were empty and we had no food but later several social workers started providing us with food, fruits, water and juice.” The local administrations in Rohtak and Bhiwani have been arranging basic facilities for us. A government spokesperson said the administration had made arrangements for labourers who wished to stay. However, for those headed for nearby destinations, the local administration was arranging a bus for them.

sweet makers of Karnal head out

Karnal : The countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has cost migrant sweet makers in Karnal their livelihood, stuck without any means of transportation, the sweet makers have set for their hometown in Agra on foot.As the 21-day lockdown entered the fourth day on Saturday, a group of around 10 people wearing masks and carrying backpacks could be seen walking on the deserted National Highway 44.

They covered 20km in three hours, however they still have to cover a journey of 335 km to reach their homes in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Though the PM has made repeated appeals to the migrant workforce asking them to stay wherever they are during the lockdown, labourers say they cannot stay put as they do not have money to pay their landlords.

On how they will reach their homes as the movement of all the trains and buses was banned during the lockdown, they say , “It is better to travel than die here without food and money.”The labourers said the Uttar Pradesh government was running some buses from Delhi to take migrant labourers to their homes. “Our priority is to reach Delhi,” a labourer said.

‘We are already dying of hunger’

Ambala : Santosh, who is in his 30s, had been working at a factory in Ludhiana until the lockdown. He is among a group of around a dozen labourers walking towards their native places in Uttar Pradesh amid a nationwide lockdown in wake of the coronovirus pandemic.

With no food or money left for survival, the group that started walking towards Bahraich near Lucknow on Friday, reached Ambala cantonment late afternoon on Saturday. “We were out of ration, food was not available and things were becoming expensive. We are already dying of hunger, so we decided to leave for our homes to spend time with our families,” says Tajli, who was also working in Ludhiana.

adopt a family initiative

The Karnal district administration has introduced the ‘adopt a family initiative’, under which the administration has appealed people to bear the expense to supply essential items to a family.

ensure stay, food for labourers: Khattar

Haryana CM ML Khattar directed district administrations arrange medical, stay and food facilities for migrant labourers working in their respective districts

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