Trapped migrants in Capital long to be back with their families

Workers forced to stay in cramped rooms with little ration

Published - April 02, 2020 11:20 pm IST - New Delhi

Seven to eight people cramped in a small room with little or no ventilation, nor proper space to cook and nowhere to go for 21 days, the migrant workers in Delhi, who missed the first wave of exodus to their home town and villages, yearns to be back with their families.

The countrywide restrictions imposed on movement of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic also meant that the migrant workers in Delhi are forced to stay indoors in debilitating conditions.

Mr. Sunil Kumar, who hails from Purnia district in Bihar, said he has been staying with seven other fellow migrant workers in a small room in a multistorey building in west Delhi’s Tilak Nagar area. “I don’t know what is happening. I just want to go home, where at least I can be with my family and have some freedom of movement,” Kumar said.

No work, no income

A construction worker, Kumar is one of the hundreds migrant workers in the area who leads a hand-to-mouth life. For us ‘no work mean no income’, he said, stressing that they have very little money left to even go back home. “The moment, the lockdown restriction are lifted, I am heading back to my village,” he said.

In east Delhi Mandawali, Biju Rai has similar stories of overcrowded rooms filled with migrants workers. Rai, born in Vaishali district in Bihar, said he himself was sharing a small room with six other people.

“We don’t have any work. Everything is closed. There is no ration left. Even for food we have to go to a local dharmshala or school and wait in line with 400 other people,” Rai said.

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