Here’s another tale of herculean endeavour by yet another migrant — this time it is middle aged Govind Mandal who carried his wife and son on his rickshaw from Delhi to Deoghar pedaling for nearly 1,350 km for a fortnight, proving the adage “where there is will there is way”. Also Read - Manipur Villagers Set up 80 Bamboo Huts to Quarantine People Arriving From Out of State
Mandal a resident of Malda district of West Bengal, was thrown out of his job as a motor mechanic by his employer in a New Delhi garage. When lockdown was imposed he was removed from job and handed Rs 16,000. Also Read - Tribal Families in Jharkhand Earn Livelihood by Collecting, Selling Leaves to Forest Department
After managing for days in the national capital amid the COVID induced lockdown, when he had just Rs 5,000 left with him, he decided to return home.
With wife and a baby in tow, Mandal decided to purchase a second-hand cycle rickshaw that cost him Rs 4,800. He reached Jharkhand’s Deoghar district on Tuesday. Starting the journey with just a few hundred was foolhardy. By the time reached Deoghar his family was famished, his only transport was punctured and he himself was half-dead with exhaustion.
He decided to stop at a government-run community kitchen run where he satiate his and his family’s hunger.
Remembering the horrible journey Mandal said: “My rickshaw got punctured after I travelled few kilometres only. I got the puncture repaired at cost of Rs 140 and I left with only Rs 60. I was later caught by Uttar Pradesh Police. I narrated my story to UP police, who showed kindness and gave me a gas cylinder fitted with stove”.
He said: “I have travelled almost 1,350 Km in last 15 days. It was tough, all we could feel was hunger. When I reached Deoghar, came to know about community kitchen. I went to community and ate meal with wife and my three and half year old son.”
He plans to cover the rest of the distance in the coming days.