Bob Dylan’s song ‘How many miles must a walk before he is called a man’ best describes the migrant crisis induced by Covid 19 lockdown in India. The lockdown has left vast numbers of migrants hungry and stranded. The sudden shutdown of businesses has upended the lives of millions of migrant labourers in Indian cities. More than a dozen migrants have died, and anger is rising.
A pregnant woman who was walking home from Maharashtra to Madhya Pradesh in the middle of the ongoing lockdown, delivered a baby on the road. She then had to walk for another 150 kilometre to reach home in such a condition.
As many as 24 migrant workers were killed in a road accident and dozens injured in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya after the truck they were travelling in collided with another vehicle. The truck, carrying around 50 migrant labourers was travelling from Rajasthan when it collided with a van coming from Delhi. The incident took place at around 3:30 in the morning and most of the migrant labourers were from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
A 15-year-old Bihar girl, Jyoti Kumari Paswan cycled her ailing father from Sikandarpur in Haryana to Darbhanga in Bihar. Jyoti had pedalled almost 1,200 km across eight days with her father, Mohan, sitting behind, who is an e-rickshaw driver, nursing a fractured knee from a road accident. Since, Mohan and her daughter were running out of savings and struggling to afford two meals and with no bus or train available, they decided to take the road.
16 migrant workers were run over by a train in Aurangabad Maharashtra while they were trying to return to their home in Madhya Pradesh. The workers were walking towards their home when a goods train ran over them between Jalna and Aurangabad districts. According to the Aurangabad police authorities and railway officials at the Nanded division of the South Central Railway (SCR), 14 were killed on the spot, while two died on way to hospital All of them aged between 20 and 30 and worked at a steel firm in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) zone in Jalna district.