From Isnapur to Shahjahanpur on a hybrid motor rickshaw

Its a near 1,600-km ride that migrant worker Taufeeq Khan chose to make to head back home - rather was compelled to make - with the lock down induced loss of livelihood

It is a different kind of hybrid vehicle that Taufeeq Khan, a migrant worker from Kath village in Shahjahanpur district in Uttar Pradesh is riding. It has the front half of a motorcycle attached to a remodelled carriage of an old fashioned cycle rickshaw capable of doing a speed of even 50 km per hour on a smooth road which, the NH44 passing through Adilabad district is.

The rear part of the motor-rickshaw has a thick mattress spread on it which serves as a bed in the night. But the rider seems to be in no mood to relax on his way home.

To the cushion comfort of home

Mr. Khan used to work in a manual cotton ginning unit making and selling mattresses and pillows with the recycled lint on his creatively remodelled vehicle at Isnapur in Sangareddy district. Bu then his world came crashing down with the closure of his work place on March 22 as the first lockdown started. His employer provided food and shelter until a few days back but eventually expressed his inability to continue doing so for the workers who were employed in the ginning mill for the last two years.

“This had the seven of us heading home. The others either left on foot or were given a ride by truckers,” the ginner recalled of the events of two days back. “I could not have left this (motor rickshaw) behind as this is my only possession here. So I decided to head home driving this,” he added.

A long ride ahead

Kath is about 1,600 km away from Isnapur and Mr. Khan hopes to reach home in another three days if nothing goes wrong. He had already travelled nearly 320 km during the last nine hours when The Hindu came across him near Seetagondi on Tuesday.

Unlike other migrant labourers, the ginner is not tech savvy. “I need to ask for directions once I reach Nagpur which I hope to reach sometime in the night. Reaching the Maharashtra city will mean he has covered one third of the distance to home.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:40:11 PM |

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