An extended family of seventeen walks on the searing road, carrying a seriously injured boy on a make-shift stretcher. They don’t have enough food, money or even slippers for the 1300-km journey home – from Ludhiana to Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli. They get help in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, but by then they have walked over 800 km, taking turns to carry the boy. The police later arranged a truck for them.
The visual narrates one of numerous heartbreaking stories of migrants travelling home to escape starvation.
One of the members of the family says they have been walking for 15 days from Ludhiana, where they were daily-wage workers.
When asked what happened to the boy, the man says,” His neck is broken. He can’t move his limbs”.
The boy has to be moved on a string-bed.
The family, which includes several children, didn’t have enough to eat on their journey. “Nobody has eaten stomach-full,” he says.
#MigrantLivesMatter | Family of #MigrantWorker has been walking for last 15 days with an injured child. They started from Ludhiana and reached Kanpur today. Policemen spotted the family and helped them get a truck for the rest of the journey to Madhya Pradesh pic.twitter.com/C2RAXUvw8j
— NDTV (@ndtv) May 15, 2020
Thousands of migrant families across the country, left without jobs and money for weeks because of the coronavirus lockdown, have been travelling to their home states. The migrants left their places of work in hordes, starting on foot, on cycles or in trucks and autos for their villages in states hundreds of km away.
Many have lost their lives before reaching home, either in road accidents or from hunger, exhaustion or illness.
Buses or trains arranged recently are no help for those already on the move. Many find the train tickets too costly or paperwork laborious.