Over a month back, on May 12, Pintu Kumar (37) had left Ludhiana for his village in Bihar’s Patna with his wife and two kids. On Monday, he was back at his workplace in Punjab’s industrial hub where he works as a knitting master. He is back with an assurance from his employer that even if the unit shuts due to another lockdown, there will be no wage cuts till January next year.
Pintu returned via taxi with his friend Mohit Kumar, who also hails from Patna and works as a taxi driver in Delhi. And with him came four other employees of the unit.
Bobby Jindal, the owner of the factory, said, “Around 20-25 persons work under these men in every section. I called them, and they in turn motivated the others to join work soon. Now around a 100 are coming back in batches starting from June 17. They are coming from Chhapra, Gaya and Prayag”.
He added: “Workers were apprehensive. I assured them that whether the factory operates or not, I will pay them till January 2021 for sure. I have to manufacture cloth for casuals and blankets for next season. Even if another lockdown happens, I will make them stay in the factory to run it.”
Taking about his return to Bihar and then his journey back to join work, Pintu, who works at Balaji Processors, said: “Sir (Jindal) had arranged a travel pass for me for Bihar. My parents were calling me every day. I hail from Patna but now I have a small house here too. I spent around Rs 34,000 on taxi to reach home, spent a month with parents and now, I have come back. I have left my family in the village as schools are closed”.
“As sir was calling us, I asked Mohit and he too thought of returning back to Delhi. Also, other employees of the same unit — Devinder Yadav (38) who lives in Gaya and is a printing master, Dhanraj Kumar ( 49), who is from Chhapra district, Sunil Yadav (25), who hails from Gopalganj, also came back in the same taxi. We had started on June 13 and reached Monday morning,” said Pintu.
Devinder, Dhanraj and Sunil stay in a one room accommodation. Their families stay in Bihar.
Sunil Yadav said, “My wife and parents used to call every day though I kept telling them that I was safe, but they insisted and so I went. Now, they too are satisfied and I have come back. After all, one has to work to earn money for family. Small farming land cannot serve purpose.”
Last week, 12 employees of the same unit had come via flight as well from Patna to Delhi and later to Sahnewal in Ludhiana.
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