Migrants return home again fearing lockdown

Migrant workers, who during the previous coronavirus-induced lockdown ran out of food, struggled to access health care and faced severe livelihood challenges, are returning again to their home countries , fearing the weekly curfew could turn into lockdown as the Covid push continues.

Fearing confinement in the national capital, migrant worker Hemant Maurya has already left for his country of origin.

“The last time I got stuck in the nation’s capital with my family. The length of the lockdown was gradually extended and I faced a lot of hardship. That’s why, when this time I heard about it curfew, I left the nation’s capital, “said Maurya.

He added: “If the curfew is not extended, we will come back. Fearing the lockdown, I left for the house on January 6. was accompanied by four fellow workers.

Read also: Wear masks, we will not have to impose confinement in Delhi: Kejriwal

Hemant is not the only one, Raju, 33, from Gonda district, has also returned home.

Raju said: “In the previous lockdown, my children stayed with me. We had no money and had to survive without food for a day. After borrowing money from my friend, I went home. “This time, I didn’t expect anything. If the curfew is not extended, we will come back.”

“One of my villagers Vinod has also returned with me. The cases of Covid are increasing. We will consider returning when the situation returns to normal,” Raju added.

Delhi’s daily Covid tally crossed over 20,000 cases in one day. Due to the upsurge in infection, the lockdown is likely to be imposed, which is of concern to migrant workers.

Although the government has imposed a curfew at night and on weekends to contain Covid, but given the current situation, migrant workers are taking no chances this time around and either prepare or choose to return home.

Toufiq Ahmed, an entrepreneur at a Prem Nagar company in Delhi, is a resident of Ambedkar Nagar. Many people from his village work under him. Even before the curfew was imposed in the nation’s capital, eight of the migrant workers left for their homes.

Ahmed said IANS that eight workers have already returned home and that more should follow.

Read also: Omicron 105% more transmissible than Delta: study

“Despite our assurances to migrant workers that there will be no food shortage, they are afraid,” Ahmed added.

“Workers who have faced hardships in previous closures are scared and rush home. At the same time, bus fares have also increased. Previously, a private bus from Prem Nagar to Ambedkar Nagar charged Rs 1,000, which has now been increased. at Rs 1,200 “, he said.

Ahmed said: “The workers in Bihar, Gonda and Moradabad have left for their homes. Three workers left two days ago and earlier three workers left. We want them to come back sooner or else the work would be affected. Not all of the workers who have left for their homes have notified when they will return. “

However, many private operators, who are sitting outside Anand Vihar bus station and dealing with buses operating for Bihar, said the situation is grim so they charge the high fare.

Most of the people who work in Delhi are from other states. If the Covid situation does not improve, the national capital could once again bear witness to the problems encountered during previous lockdowns.

On Monday, the Kejriwal government will review the Covid situation in Delhi and take an appeal on whether or not to impose the lockdown.

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