Migrant labourers set out for their native villages on foot pass through Haryana
Though the government has imposed a nationwide lockdown in hopes of arresting the spread of novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), a large flock of labourers could be seen on National Highway-9 on Saturday.
The motley group were en route to their native villages in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on foot as their source of livelihood had dried up due to the coronavirus lockdown and they had no means of making rent. Many of them had started their journey from Punjab’s Bhathinda on Friday.
Their numbers included young children and women heaving toddlers. 22-year-old Sumit Kumar says, “I started from Bathinda on Friday. Two of my relatives left for Dholpur in Rajasthan two days ago and have reached Bhiwani.”
Ram Prasad, who also started from Bathinda on Friday afternoon, said he wanted to go to Lucknow. “When we started our pockets were empty and we had no food but later several social workers started providing us with food, fruits, water and juice.”
“If any district administration is able to arrange a vehicle for us we will able to reach Delhi in no time,” Prasad added. The local administrations in Rohtak and Bhiwani have been arranging basic facilities for us.
A government spokesperson said the administration had made arrangements for labourers who wished to stay. However, for those headed for nearby destinations, the local administration was arranging a bus for them.
Groom gets permission to bring four relatives
The coronavirus outbreak also put a damper on a groom’s wedding festivities. The groom, Pankaj Kumar, was only given permission to bring four people with him for his marriage ceremony at Shikarpur village in Hisar. He could be seen wearing a mask on his wedding day.