Despite Shramik trains, it's a long walk back home for migrant workers

Migrants from Raigad district of Maharashtra walk through a tunnel along the easter freeway, in Mumbai. Photo: PTI
Even as the government has started Shramik special trains to take migrant workers to their homes, there are workers who are finding difficulty in reaching their native places in other states.

Bholaram, a mason worker who was staying at Delhi government's shelter home at Yamuna Bank, said he has started walking once again since Wednesday.

"This is not the first time I have started walking. After the announcement of the first lockdown, I had tried to go back to Agra but in midway, Delhi police instructed us to go to a shelter home. Honestly saying I really don't have money to pay for anything. This time I just want to reach home. I don't have balance in my phone too. The battery has also exhausted." he said.

Outside the entrance of New Delhi Railway Station, Ramvati, 30, was sitting on the road with her two children. She had a medium-sized blue luggage bag with some clothes, a water bottle and a few eatables.

Not knowing much about how to get into the Shramik trains, she came to New Delhi railway station hoping to board a Bihar-bound train but appeared puzzled.

"I want to go back to Bihar. I did not know much about the process and thought I could buy buying tickets. I have Rs 1,200. I just don't know what to do now. I don't know how to keep my children safe from the virus," she said with pain in her eyes.

Harbinder, 54, a farmer hailing from a border area in Punjab, said he has been walking for two days and has very little savings.

"I am a farmer and had come for some personal work. Due to lockdown, I got stuck here. Now I cannot wait more otherwise my crops would be of no value. If I get any bus or car or a lift it will be a relief for me," he said with hope in his eyes.

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