Migrant worker steals a cycle to reach UP, leaves a moving apology note
A migrant worker stole a bicycle in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur to pedal his way over 250 kilometres with his son to Bareilly, his home, in Uttar Pradesh. However, the migrant left behind an apology note for the cycle owner.
Mohammad Iqbal stole a cycle from Rarah village of Bharatpur district from the house of Sahab Singh late on Monday night. Singh found the letter while sweeping the veranda of his house. HT managed to get a picture of the note.
“Main majdoor hun, majboor bhi. Main aapka gunehgar hu. Aapki cycle lekar ja raha hu. Mujhe maaf kar dena. Mujhe Bareily tak jana he. Mere pass koi sadhan nahi he aur viklang baccha hai (I am your culprit. But, I am a labourer and also helpless. I’m taking your bicycle. Forgive me. I have no other means to reach and I have a specially-abled child. I have to go to Bareilly),” read Iqbal’s handwritten note in Hindi.
Rarah is a gram panchayat which falls on the border between Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Since the nationwide lockdown, hundreds of migrant labourers suddenly found themselves out of jobs and set off on foot or by hitchhiking to get home.
“The incident reflects the helplessness of the labourers and the failure of the governments. Before imposing the lockdown, the government should have arranged transport facilities for them so that they could have reached their native places. But it didn’t happen. Many labourers are hungry for months. They cannot feed themselves nor their family members,” said Rajeev Gupta, a sociologist.
Gupta added that the owners and the contractors for whom these labourers worked didn’t treat them well.
“They were neither given food nor pending wages. That’s why people are forced to do things which may be legally wrong. Because of the ignorant attitude of the state, it is happening for the first time in the country that people are moving to villages from cities. Generally, people from villages migrate to big towns in search of employment and opportunities,” Gupta said.