12-yr-old migrant worker dies after walking 100km
Raipur: A 12-year-old girl died in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur after walking about a hundred kilometers over three days through dense forests to reach her village from Perur in Telangana’s Mulgu district, where she had gone along with 13 migrant workers including her uncle to work in chilly fields before the nationwide lockdown, officials said on Monday.
The workers began walking from Telangana’s Perur on April 15 and Jamlo Madkami, the girl, died upon reaching Chhattisgarh on April 18 and prompted the Bijapur district administration to quarantine the 13.
Bijapur Collector KD Kunjam said that the girl’s post-mortem examination was done on Monday and the body was handed over to the family .
Bijapur’s chief medical and health officer, Dr BR Pujari, said the girl’s post-mortem was conducted on Monday and added she tested negative for Covid-19. “...the exact reason behind the death is yet to be ascertained. Her viscera has been preserved. It will be sent for further examination to ascertain the cause of her death,” he said. Pujari said she appears to have died because of electrolyte imbalance.
“Since she travelled on difficult terrains for three days, she could have suffered muscle fatigue and that may have led to some imbalance. Secondly, as per the people who were walking with her, she fell from a hillock and sustained injuries also,” he said.
Pujari said the workers took a forested route to reach their village because of closure of roads due to the lockdown. “She [Madkami] walked along with the group and crossed difficult terrains of Maoist-affected forested areas and on Saturday evening she collapsed in Bhandarpal,” said Pujari. He added the route is extremely treacherous.
Madkami was about 50 kilometers from her Aded village when she died.
An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said hundreds of workers have returned to their homes on foot from Telangana through dense forests since the lockdown was imposed in March and extended last week until May 3.
“The forest routes are surrounded by Maoist-affected areas. Hence no one can monitor their movement,” said a police official involved in anti-Maoist operations, who did not want to be named.
The lockdown triggered an exodus of migrant workers from bigger cities in March as tens of thousands of them left jobless because of the curbs imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 pandemic began leaving for their homes on foot. This prompted the Centre to direct the states and Union territories to seal their borders and ensure the migrant workers are taken care of in shelter homes. Migrant workers have recently gathered in cities like Mumbai and demanded that they be sent home.