These are the biggest testing times for the migrant workers of our country as after breaking their back and working day and night to build concrete jungles to secure a roof over the heads of the priviledged class, they were shunned away first at the onset of the nationwide lockdown. Thrown out by their landlords, empty stomachs and meagre savings drying up soon, the helpless workers decided to walk or hitchhike their way back to their far flung villages which would atleast be warmer and kinder to them. Also Read - Baraat On Bullock Cart: Groom & Baaratis Ride on Bullock Carts to Reach Wedding Venue in UP's Deoria
While many died of exhaustion on walking their way back or met with accidents on highways or railway tracks, a new story of the plight of a migrant worker has emerged which is sure to leave you in tears. A note currently going viral on Twitter reveals that a Mohammad Iqbal stole a cycle from Rarah village of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan, from the house of Sahab Singh late on Monday night, to peddle with his differently-abled son to Bareilly, his home, in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read - Ghaziabad Assault Case: No Video Call, UP Police Summons Twitter India MD to Appear in Person on June 24
The most heartbreaking thing is the emotion penned in the apology note that he left behind to express his act of desperation. The letter was reportedly found by the cycle owner while sweeping the veranda of his house. Also Read - Available on Video Call For Questioning By UP Police, Says Twitter India Head on Ghaziabad Attack Against Elderly Man
It read, “Namaste ji, Main apki cycle lekar ja raha hu. Ho sakey toh mujhe maaf kar dena kyunki mere pass koi sadhan nahi hai aur ek bachcha hai uske liye mujhe aisa karna pada kyunki woh viklang hai, chal nahin sakta. Humein Bareilly tak jaana hai (Hello, I’m taking your bicycle. Please forgive me if you can as I had no other option and I have a child for whom I did this. He is specially-abled and cannot walk. We have to go to Bareilly).”
Shredding Twitterati’s hearts into pieces, a user shared the picture of the note and captioned it, “Heartbreaking: Poor migrant worker in Rajasthan stole a bicycle to head home in Bareilly & left a note saying: “Please forgive me, I had to do this for my child who can not walk” (sic).”
Recently, a shocking video depicting the extent of this helplessness and desperation emerged from Bihar which showed a group of men fighting for a handful of biscuits on the railway station. In another news grabbing eyeballs across social media, a mother of three walked all the way to Panna, Madhya Pradesh from Surat in Gujarat, carrying her disabled son for 1100 kms.
On May 12, PM Narendra Modi announced an economic stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore and gave a clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat. As Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced about the Central government giving attention to migrant workers’ crisis at this time, several news of migrant workers’ current plight, broke the Internet.
With thousands of workers across India walking to their villages amid the lockdown due to high rail fares or unavailability of forms amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 24 migrants were killed on Saturday morning in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh and more than 30 were injured after the truck they were travelling in collided with another. Earlier, some 16 migrant workers sleeping on railway tracks were killed after a goods train ran over them.
The pictures and stories of the plight of migrant workers, surfacing everyday, are enough to leave one haunting and sleep deprived as they snuggle with loved ones in the cosiness of their homes!