‘I Sold My Phone To Buy A Rickshaw, Will Pedal To Bihar’

Having exhausted all options and resources, migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who are headed home on foot, share their ordeals

Pramod Kamat: “I lived in Rohini area of Delhi. We I heard that my 30-year-old brother died due to hunger at our village in Madhubani district during this lockdown, we decided to move. We went to the police station, seeking permission to go to our village. Police did not give us any permission. I was heavily beaten up by the police because they do not allow us to go in groups.

“I have purchased rickshaw at the cost of Rs 3,000 after selling my mobile phone. Along with my 65-year-old father and other members of my village, I have decided to pedal to the village. It is a tough journey but we will reach in three to four days. We do not have the money to purchase train tickets.”

Pramod’s father, Ganga Kamat: “I am pained for not being able to see my son for the last time. We were waiting for the lockdown to be lifted. It was extended again and again. We all became jobless. The landlord has asked us to vacate the rooms. We do not have money and food. Police spared me from the beating. However, they have severely beaten up my son and other people, who are going with us.”

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Bablu Kumar: “We had struck a deal for Rs 25,000 with a group of truck drivers to take us from here. We deposited Rs 15, 000 first. But he had cautioned us that he will only take us to as much as distance as the police will allow. At Noida border, police stopped the truck and asked us to come down. Truck drivers did not return the money.”

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Vishwanath: “I was living in Noida. The landlord has asked me to pay the rent or vacate the room. I do not have money as I became jobless after the lockdown. The company I was working with asked me not to come to work during the lockdown period.

“I get to know that the government has started a train for us, but we do not have any money to purchase the train tickets. If I get any job in my village, I will not come here. However, I doubt that I will get any work there in Bihar.”

Javed Ali: “I am a truck driver. I am going to Aligarh. Some of the migrants stuck in Yamuna Expressway are also going in the same direction. I have told them that I would drop them at Tappal. I am not charging any money from them. I am helping them on a humanitarian ground. ANI

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