Over 1450 people from the Northeast stranded in Karnataka are attempting to travel back home in what appears to be an exodus.
A Shramik Special train carrying nearly 1,200 people from Bengaluru reached Tripura on Wednesday while another arrived at Manipur. Over 800 people reached Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from Delhi.
Buses from Delhi with hundreds of students made their way back home to the northeast as well.
From migrant workers to students to the now unemployed, the lockdown has created a fervent need in most people to go back home.
"The process is quite simple," says Lanthoi, a medical student. "You have to apply on the website and wait for a confirmation message. A train leaves every 3 days. They gather many people and conduct health check-ups. If you show symptoms, you're quarantined here [in Karntaka] till you test negative or else you're allowed to go."
Several others waiting in endless queues seem to be content with the actions being taken by governments of both states.
However, the situation may spell doom for their hometowns. Tripura, Assam, Manipur had so far been keeping ahead of the coronavirus curve. However, with the return of thousands of migrants, the scramble to provide jobs for the needy and maintain health protocols is on.
"We will not be able to conduct a test of all but all must be in quarantine up to 14-days. The Centre also told us that tests are not required for those not showing any symptom. Even if we collect the samples of all and send them to Delhi or other places, the report will come after two months," said Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Camera by Abhishek & Sreemith
Reporting and sound by Preethi and Abhishek
Updated Date: May 20, 2020 13:10:59 IST