Now we can breathe easy, say workers back home on the first train

RANCHI/PATNA: It is true that he felt alive again when he arrived at the almost empty Hatia station of Ranchi around midnight on Friday, thankful that he had returned home on the first passenger train to run anywhere in the world. country in 40 days.

It wasn't as if he was sleeping hungry in Telangana. But uncertainty and fear were killing a part of me every day. I longed to be reunited with my family, nothing else mattered, said the 50-year-old construction worker. , who was among 1,225 migrant workers, almost walked away from their camp in a secret operation coordinated by the government on demand.

Shortly after being examined and medically cleared to return home to the Chatra district, Rajendra's traveling companion Sujan Horo said: He did not expect to return anytime soon. I am very happy that the government welcomed us as heroes. Now we can breathe easy. .

The same sense of collective relief was palpable as 1,174 migrant workers trapped in Rajasthan for five weeks got off a special train on platform 5 of the Patna station in Danapur around 2pm on Saturday. The division commissioner said 100 buses had been organized to take returnees to their home districts. None of them showed symptoms of influenza-like illness during the assessment, district magistrate Kumar Ravi said.

Among the returnees from Jharkhand, no one knew until the last moment that they would be evacuated by train. Several hours after the train left Hyderabad's Lingampalli station at 4.50 a.m. on Friday, the Union Home Office announced a series of point-to-point Shramik Specials to take stranded people to their native states.

Everyone who arrived at the Hatia station received a mask and a rose each when they got off the train. The entire thermal screening process was recorded. Migrant workers were later taken to their home districts in 60 disinfected buses. They were reviewed again when the buses arrived at the district headquarters and either sent them home or placed them in institutional quarantine, according to the medical council, an official said.

However, the trip home was clouded by an accident in which a police officer died. The deceased was in a police vehicle that overturned on NH 33 while escorting a bus that was transporting some of the migrant workers to the Chatra district.

On Monday, a train from Thiruvananthapuram is scheduled to arrive in Hatia with another group of stranded workers.