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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Walking home from Punjab: Who they are, why they are leaving

Meet bakery, dairy and construction workers who are walking to their hometowns and villages from Punjab.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: March 31, 2020 5:17:45 am
Birjesh Kumar

Birjesh Kumar, 20

Family members: 7
Profession: Works at a bakery in Chandigarh
Earning: Rs 7,000 per month; Headed towards: Agra, UP
Why he left: “The bakery has remained closed for over a week now and there there is no work. If I don’t go home, I won’t able to survive here ”.

Raj kumar

Raj kumar, 20

Family members: 6
Profession: Daily wager, construction worker in Ludhiana
Earning: Rs 450 per day; Headed towards: Shahjahanpur, UP
Why She left: “I had been sitting idle for days. We got food only if someone donated. My family members kept calling and drying over phone. They want me home safe”.

Shashi Kant

Shashi kant, 40

Family members: 5
Profession: Works in the lab of a dairy at Ajaitwal in Ludhiana
Earning: Rs 25,000 per month; Headed towards: Aligarh, J&K
Why he left: “Dairy was closed on March 22 and owner asked us to leave after giving 20 days’ salary. I reached Ludhiana after walking 50 km in 7 hours on way to Aligarh.”

Ram Avtar

Ram Avtar, 43

Family members: 5
Profession: Daily wage labourer in Landra, Mohali
Earning: Rs 300 per day; Headed towards: Agra, UP
Why he left: “I didn’t get ant work in last eight days. The money I had is running out. I can’t survive like this.”
Reporting & Photos by kamleshwar singh, Gurmeet singh

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