Coimbatore

Train for Jharkhand leaves with 1,600 guest workers

Twenty-five-year-old Nazirull Islam had walked all the way from the inter-State border to the railway station hoping to board the train to Assam.

that the train that was leaving on Saturday evening was the train to Jharkhand carrying 1,600 workers. Even as he stood disappointed having walked some 15 km with his luggage from the State border, he joined in to clap and cheer for the Jharkhand workers as the train rolled out of the platform.

Nazirull Islam had come to Bengaluru just three days before the lockdown to work in a hotel.

Since then, he has been struggling to go home. “Others had left in buses. But, I had no money. Someone told me there’s a train to Assam from Hosur station,” he said. There was no train as yet to Assam.

Food supplied

On Saturday evening, the train to Jharkhand left, once again carrying workers provided adequately with food supplies for the journey time by the Hosur administration and the volunteers.

Earlier in the day, 10 Jharkhand workers were reluctant to leave even as they were desperate to go home, because their contractor had not paid their salary. They had one week's remuneration pending with the job contractor. They were unwilling to leave without their pay.

Wages paid

Sridhar, district president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India spoke to the contractor with the help of the Tahsildar Venkatesan and ensured wages were paid hours before the train left.

“There are two more workers who will have to be paid. We will follow it up,” said Mr. Sridhar.

In the meantime, Nazirull Islam was provided with a place to stay by Abdul Bari, one of the coordinators of the Muslim community youth.

The day also witnessed a steady stream of migrants walking a few tens of km on hearing about a train and landing in different locations.

The Tamil Nadu government had paid ₹795 per ticket for each worker, spending a total of ₹12.72 lakh.

As the train left the station, tired officials and the volunteers were gearing up to prepare for the train to Bihar on Sunday that would carry some 1,400 workers.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 7:03:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/train-for-jharkhand-leaves-with-1600-guest-workers/article31660814.ece

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