New Delhi, June 2 : Rajkumari, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda has arrived at the New Delhi railway station along with all the belongings of her rented house to go back to her native place. She says she will never return as there is no work here.
However, Rajkumari’s woes don’t end here, as she has a waiting ticket for the train leaving for Varanasi.Speaking to IANS, she said, “We don’t have any work here. And as there is no income we are unable to pay the rent.”
”We are not going to come back to Delhi and it is the reason why we are going back to our village with all our belongings,” she said.
She said that her husband works as a daily labourer and now as they don’t have any work so there is no need to stay back here. She said that she will go back to her village and will do farming in the fields as the season of sowing rice is coming. Rajkumari is travelling back to her village along with her husband and two children and have booked the ticket on Tuesday morning from the New Delhi passenger reservation counter. Similar is the condition of Mukesh a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria. He said that he wil not return to Delhi for at least one and half years. Speaking to IANS, he said, “I have to go to Deoria with my belongings, and I have been running to ticket counters to book a ticket. But I am unable to get a ticket.”
He said that he was tired of running from one counter to another counter. “I am getting tired as the heat is unbearable and we are sitting on the main road,” he said. When asked where he worked before the nationwide lockdown was announced to combat the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), he said, “I used to work in a sewing factory and as the work is shut I have no option rather than to return to my home. “I am living here with three of my family members, so it is tough for me to feed them without any work,” Mukesh added. The Indian Railways has partially started the services of 200 more trains from Monday besides the
15 pairs of air conditioned trains. Even the norms of the social distancing outside the New Delhi railway station went for a toss as the people entering the station premises were standing just inches away from each other. The railways has suspended the passenger, mail and express train services on March 25.
However, it started running the Shramik Special trains to transport the stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, students and tourists across the country. Since May 1, the railways has transported over 56 lakh migrant workers across the country in over 4,000 Shramik Special trains. The railways also started to run 15 pairs of Special trains from New Delhi to different parts of the country. According to railway ministry officials, by 10 a.m. on Tuesday over 1.77 lakh passengers booked tickets for the 200 special time tabled trains.
Jagdish, a reisdent of Gaya in Bihar, who used to work in a sunmica factory said that he was also returning back to his home as he is unable to meet the demands of his family with the wage cut. Speaking to IANS, he said, “We are getting very less salary and the landlords in whose home we reisded here didn’t waive the rent. So that is the reason why I am going back to my native place.” When asked if he shall return back, he said, “First I want to reach home then only we can decide if we will come back or not.”
The country has witnessed mass exodus of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown. Many people have braved the scorching heat and walked hundreds of kilometers towards their native places either by foot or on bicycles.
On Tuesday, the country witnessed more than 8,000 cases for the third consecutive day. With this, India has inched closer to the two-lakh mark as total number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 1,98,706 with 5,598 fatalities.
By Anand Singh
(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])