Mumbai migrant workers desperate to go home

With the Covid-19 lockdown entering its fourth stage, migrant workers find themselves stranded across the country. Hundreds of them are reduced to a state of semi-starvation in different regions of Maharashtra alone. Even as many of them were initially able to sustain themselves through their savings, now with almost two months of unemployment, they are completely dependent on aid provided to them by government or private entities.

Sadly, the government help fails to trickle down and their risk of infection and starvation increases with each passing day. “I have no money to survive. As I have not received my salary, also my ration is over. I don›t have a job on which I can rely,” said Manoj, who worked for a hotel in Thane. Living in pitiable conditions, these workers are facing problems ever since the lockdown was extended.

Cramped in a tiny room, with eight to ten people, they fear that they will starve to death if they are unable to return to their native places. “We don’t have ration. The government distributed food only for two days and we have not received ration thereafter,” said Amma, who is a housewife. “We spent all our money and now even passengers are not sitting in auto. So we borrowed money from relatives and going back to our homes,” said Rajesh Kumar, the auto-rickshaw driver hailing from Bihar.

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