Coronavirus Lockdown: 'No dignity in living like this, it is humiliating', migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh on why they want to leave Mumbai

Hundreds of migrant workers in Mumbai walked in the blistering heat along the eastern express highway with their belongings on their head to go back to UP.

Parth MN May 25, 2020 15:51:12 IST

Living in one of the slums of Bandra, 18-year-old Ramodar packed his belongings on Thursday morning and set off to go back home in Uttar Pradesh on foot.

Except he was not alone. Hundreds of such migrant workers in Mumbai walked in the blistering heat along the eastern express highway with their belongings on their head. They wore a mask to protect themselves from the coronavirus. But the mask could not conceal their frustration, desperation, and helplessness.

Moreover, Ramodar’s home is in the district of Basti in Uttar Pradesh, which is 1,500 kilometres from Mumbai. A simple search on Google Maps shows it would take him more than 300 hours to reach on foot. In other words, if he walked without a minute’s break, it would take him 13 days to see his parents.

In order to get back home, the migrant workers in Mumbai are supposed to collect a form from the local police station, fill it up with their details and destination state. The initial order also demanded the workers get a health certificate stating they do not have influenza-like symptoms.

But when that led to further chaos, the state government said the workers would instead be screened before the journey. Once they submit their details, they are supposed to wait for the call from the police station.

The workers have no faith in the government’s plan. “I stood in queue until 2 in the morning, just to submit my form to the police station,” said Ramodar. “There is no assurance when we would be able to board the train home. I do not trust anyone. We are poor people. Nobody listens to us.”

Read the full story here: https://www.firstpost.com/india/coronavirus-lockdown-no-dignity-in-living-like-this-it-is-humiliating-migrant-workers-from-uttar-pradesh-on-why-they-want-to-leave-mumbai-8345621.html

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