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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Walking home: Who they are, why they are leaving

“There is a lockdown, So, there is no more work. Suddenly the trains also stopped. So, I have to somehow reach my home in Bihar.”

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Published: March 30, 2020 1:55:07 am
Walking home, migrant workers, india lockdown, coronavirus, kolkata news, indian express news Ajmal Shah, a plastic goods hawker.

Ajmal Shah, 25
Family members: 6
Profession: Plastic goods hawker
Earning: Rs 400 daily; Headed towards: Murshidabad, Bengal
Why he left: “We were in Domjur, Howrah. There is no work, so, no point staying back. My family too needs me in such times.”

Walking home, migrant workers, india lockdown, coronavirus, kolkata news, indian express news Lalu Prasad Yadav, a contract labourer.

Lalu Prasad Yadav, 55
Family members: 6
Profession: Contract labourer
Earning: Rs 7,000 per month; Headed towards: Jamui, Bihar

Why he left: “There is a lockdown, So, there is no more work. Suddenly the trains also stopped. So, I have to somehow reach my home in Bihar.”

Walking home, migrant workers, india lockdown, coronavirus, kolkata news, indian express news Dinesh Kumar Singh, a contract labourer.

Dinesh Kumar Singh, 51
Family members: 4
Profession: Contract labourer
Earning: Rs 12,000 a month; Headed towards: Jamui, Bihar

Why he left: “The work stopped, so there was no point to stay here away from family. As we get paid at the beginning of month, I don’t have much cash in hand. So, I am trying to reach home.”

Walking home, migrant workers, india lockdown, coronavirus, kolkata news, indian express news Rafiqul Sheikh, a plastic goods hawker.

Rafiqul Sheikh, 20
Family members: 5, including a newborn daughter
Profession: Plastic goods hawker
Earning: Rs 400 a day; Headed towards: Murshidabad, Bengal

Why he left: “I worked at Domjur in Howrah. After the shutdown we spent some time at our rented room. But how long can we stay like that? So I decided to head home anyway.”

Reporting: Ravik Bhattacharya, Photos: Partha Paul

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