Migrant workers walking home given shelter

We found 100 labourers, including women and children, says NGO

April 27, 2020 11:55 pm | Updated 11:55 pm IST - KHAMMAM

More than 100 migrant farm workers, including their family members, from Maharashtra on an arduous trek back to their villages were spotted by volunteers of Annam Seva Foundation, a town-based NGO, here on Sunday.

They were shifted to a temporary shelter in the town by the volunteers of the NGO with the help of Revenue and Police officials. They were provided food and drinking water at a private function hall on the bypass road here.

“We found more than 100 migrant farm labourers, including several women and children, walking along the NSP canal bund at Venugopal Nagar heading back to their homes in Maharashtra on Sunday morning,” said Annam Srinivasa Rao, founder of the Annam Seva Foundation.

They reached Khammam en route their villages in Nanded district from Enkoor mandal where they found themselves stranded owing to the lockdown.

They were all visibly tired after a long trek from Enkoor mandal, in heatwave conditions, said Mr Rao, who is also a para-legal volunteer.

“Initially, they were in no mood to listen to us and kept insisted on going ahead on the long march to reach their homes,” he said, adding that they moves to the temporary shelter after repeated counselling.

“We had come from Nanded district to work on the chilli farms in Enkoor mandal to harvest the produce in the second week of last month,” said Shyamrao Rathod, presently sheltered in a function hall here.

“The sudden imposition of lockdown left us stranded and we could not afford to stay in Enkoor mandal any longer, leaving our elders in a pathetic condition back home,” he told The Hindu .

"If permitted, we will proceed to our villages on foot by making transit halts on the roadside to reach our homes more than 450 km away in the next few days," said another migrant labourer, unmindful of the adverse impact of heatwave on the children accompanying them.

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