Famished, fatigued, migrants walk home as most miss train - ECAS Punjab

Famished, fatigued, migrants walk home as most miss train

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Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15

Unable to catch the train to his native village in Uttar Pradesh, 20-year-old Jai Parkash, along with a group of migrants, decided to walk home yesterday.

Parkash said he received a message that a bus would drop him at the Ludhiana railway station. He kept waiting, but the bus never came and he missed the train on May 7.

'Hard times'

After I missed the Shramik train on May 11, I applied online a day later. If I am unable to get the train this time, my family and I will walk back home. — Birju, Migrant labourer

He said he had no food or source of livelihood. "Leaving the city was the only option," he added.

Hundreds of migrants held protests in different parts of the city earlier this week, asking the government to make arrangements to send them to UP and Bihar at the earliest. They said they were not getting ration.

'No ration'

There are many migrants who have complained they are not getting ration. They do not want to starve. So they have decided to go home. — Vijay Narain, Workers' union leader

Around 7.30 lakh migrants have registered online to go back home. More than 51,000 have left for their native places by trains from Ludhiana. Those who could not go by trains, walked and bicycled. Some were lucky to get private buses or commercial vehicles during the nationwide lockdown.

The district administration claimed that ration was being distributed among the needy.

Also, social and religious organisations are distributing cooked food among the poor.

Members of the employees' unions, including Textile Hosiery Kamgaar Union Punjab, Molder and Steel Workers Union and Karkhana Mazdoor Union, claimed the migrants were not getting ration.

Vijay Narain, president of the Molder and Steel Worker Union, said, "There are many migrants who complained that they were not getting ration. They do not want to starve and die. So they decided to go home."

Sixty-year-old Ghanshyam, a labourer, said, "I have decided to go back to Uttar Pradesh as I don't have any work here. Moreover, there is no food."

Another labourer, Birju, who has a two-year-old child, said, "After I missed the Shramik train on May 11, I applied online a day later. If I am unable to get the train this time, my family and I will walk back home."

Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agrawal said, "We have made proper arrangements for the migrants' travel. Ration is being distributed among the needy. We have distributed over 3.5 lakh dry ration packets. Besides, cooked food is given to around 1.5 to 2 lakh people daily by various organisations."



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