18 Migrant Workers cycle over 2200 kms from Maharashtra to Assam

We're planning to cover 2200 km from Thane to Assam over the next 14-15 days. What can we do? We have to go,' Pankaj Roy, a construction worker.

Rahul Bhise June 04, 2020 01:08:32 IST

"The cycles cost anywhere from Rs 5500 - Rs 7000. We're planning to cover 2200 km from Thane to Assam over the next 14-15 days. What can we do? We have to go," Pankaj Roy, a construction worker.

18 Assamese migrant workers have banded from the Kalyan-Thane areas of Mumbai, Maharashtra in an attempt to cycle back home. Unemployed for over 2 months, they have similar stories of being abandoned by their employers and the government alike.

"When we go to the officials for permissions for our passes, they aren't giving us any. At the police station, they hear our company's name and don't accept our papers," says Niren Chandra Burman, a factory worker in the area.

The workers have been surviving during the lockdown over funds borrowed from home, the last of which were pooled to buy cycles. Despite news of special 'Shramik' trains for migrant workers, the men say that these trains have left for Assam only from Delhi.
"The one that was supposed to leave from Mumbai didn't actually go in the end. What other choice do we have now?" asks Roy.
A State Home Department official said, "Over 42,000 migrant workers have been sent home in 35 trains from Maharashtra." However, the on-ground reality suggests the usual impasse between government announcements and actual implementation.

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