Desperate times, desperate measures

Maharashtrian agriculture labourers walking the 100 km distance to their home in Nanded district from Landa Sangvi in Adilabad.

Maharashtrian agriculture labourers walking the 100 km distance to their home in Nanded district from Landa Sangvi in Adilabad.   | Photo Credit: S. HARPALSINGH

Lack of transport due to lockdown forces labourers to walk 100 km to reach home

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Yes, the uncertainty of reaching home in these times of lockdown, a group of dozen agriculture labourers from Maharashtra have started on a journey on foot to their home, which is 100 km away from where they were employed.

The workers belong to Kupti-Borwadi in the famous temple town of Mahur in Nanded district of Maharashtra and had worked in fields in Landa Sangvi village in Adilabad rural mandal since the last six months. They had come to work in cotton fields and were now engaged in harvesting turmeric when the total shutdown changed the scenario suddenly.

“The lockdown happened just as we ended harvesting turmeric and wanted to return to Borwadi. We were told that there is no transport to anywhere,” recalled Shravan Rathod, head of one of the four families headed towards the inter State border between Adilabad district’s Talamadugu mandal and Kinwat taluk of Nanded district.

The workers were challenged by vigilant villagers at Ponnari in Tamsi mandal but they were able to convince them that they will cross the border and not enter any village on the route. “All of us are healthy and there is no need to worry,” he asserted.

It is anybody’s guess if the group will make it to its native village as there would be several pickets manned by police, first on this side of the border and apparently along the 70 km of the route that falls in Maharashtra territory. “Saab (Sub Inspector of Police) has given us his phone number to call in case of emergency,” revealed Pandit Rathod who, also said he was unaware of the name of the police officer whose number he was carrying.

The families had left behind some schoolgoing children when they had come to Adilabad last year. “We are worried about them as schools have been closed and the children have nowhere to go,” said a sad Gopichand Rathod giving the reason for the group to take the difficult route out of Adilabad.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 6:11:30 AM |

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