The fear of epidemic and loss of livelihoods witnessing migrant workers leave Srinagar in droves. Jahangir Mohammad from Araria in Bihar waited for a free flight for two days outside the airport in the BSF relief camp, but on Wednesday he booked a Spicejet flight to Chandigarh for Rs 2,250. Earlier, some airlines were offering free tickets, which are no longer available.
A painter at construction sites, it is Jahangir’s first flight. He says he came all the way to Srinagar as makes Rs 1,000 a day. “My employer said he has no money to pay me or keep me. Some of us have left the money they owed to us and have booked a flight to go back home,” he says.
However, not all migrant workers have money to buy the tickets. Some people from Gujrat said there are nearly 2,000 of them who want to fly back but there are no free tickets. One of them urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the former Gujarat CM, through television channels to fly them home. “It is his birthday and it will be a goodwill gesture for Gujaratis,” he says.