‘We should hang our heads in shame’: Kapil Sibal on video showing toddler trying to wake up dead mother
Congress leader Kapil Sibal has expressed anguish over the incident in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur where a toddler was seen trying to wake up his mother from the eternal sleep.
“Are migrants not our responsibility? When you see a child trying to wake up his dead migrant mother. Mothers losing their children because of hunger and thirst. No food, no water in Shramik Specials. Foetid toilets and packed coaches. We should hang our heads in shame!” he tweeted on Thursday.
The heart-wrenching video was tweeted on Wednesday by Sanjay Yadav, an aide to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. It shows a toddler trying - and failing - to wake her mother up who lay dead on the platform, a blanket placed over the body. The toddler covered his own head with the blanket after failing to wake the woman up.
The video further showed that as the woman lay still, the toddler wobbled away from her, announcements continuing in the background about the arrival and departure of trains.
“This small child doesn’t know that the bedsheet with which he is playing is the shroud of his mother who has gone into eternal sleep. This mother died of hunger and thirst after being on a train for four days. Who is responsible for these deaths on trains? Shouldn’t the opposition ask uncomfortable questions?” tweeted Yadav.
However, the railways had a different story to tell.
The railways said that the train was travelling from Surat (in Gujarat) to Purnea (in Bihar) and arrived at Mansi station (in Bihar’s Khagaria district) at 9:17 am on platform number 3 where some people were seen deboarding the body of the woman.
Based on a submission given by the dead woman’s brother-in-law to the railway police, the railways said that the woman had been suffering from a heart ailment and had undergone a surgery on March 22.
She was discharged on May 24 and undertook the journey thereafter, the brother-in-law said in his written submission, according to the railways.
Ramakant Upadhyay, the Dy SP of the Government Railway Police in Muzaffarpur, said the incident occurred on May 25. He told reporters that the woman, who was accompanied by her sister and brother-in-law, had died on the train.
A massive exodus of migrant workers is on in several parts of the country, unprecedented in magnitude since Partition.
The humanitarian crisis still unfolding on highways and railway platforms has shone light on disturbing tales of entire families walking hundreds of kilometres with little children on foot in a seemingly endless march to escape hunger.
People have been found travelling on trucks and in the hollow of concrete mixing plants, and in many cases, dying from hunger and exhaustion before reaching their destinations.