No jobs at home, Bihar migrants eager to return - ECAS Punjab

No jobs at home, Bihar migrants eager to return

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Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 22

Migrant workers who have returned to Bihar are calling up farmers here, asking about ways to return to Punjab as they have no means of subsistence at their native places.

Labourers own marginal lands and sow crops, but that is insufficient to make ends meet. They have told farmers they are "stuck" in Bihar.

'WORKERS ASK ME TO FERRY THEM BACK'

I get calls from my farm labourers daily. They have been asking me to arrange transportation for them so that they can return to Punjab and earn.

Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Farmer

Lal Yadav from Kishanganj district in Bihar told The Tribune over phone, "I was only 13 when I came to Punjab and it became my second home since. I remain here for around eight months and then I return to Bihar. Before the lockdown was announced, I went home for my son's wedding. But now I am stuck here."

"In Bihar, there is poverty. There are no jobs. If I can return to Punjab, I will be able to earn," he said.

He has been working for Kulwant Singh Sandhu of Rurkan Kalan village for the past 15 years.

Sandhu, who is also the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha general secretary, said: "I get calls from my labourers daily. They have been asking me to arrange transportation for them so that they can return."

Davinder Singh, a farmer from Nawanshahr district, had arranged tickets for his labourers and they were scheduled to return on April 13 for the paddy season. But as the lockdown continued, they remain "stuck" in Bihar. "They are in regular contact with me. They ask me ways to return to Punjab," he said.

Mohammad Jalba, a migrant worker from Kishanganj district, along with 15 other farm labourers came to Punjab during the sugarcane season and went back before the lockdown was imposed. "I am eager to return to Punjab and earn," he said.

He has been coming to Punjab for the past two years.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3ed31HS

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