Migrants can finally go home, but many cannot afford the train or bus.
The migrant worker had been reduced to his last 2,000 rupees when the blockade began 40 days ago. After being forced to pay Rs 350 for a medical certificate, a mandatory requirement for anyone registering to leave Maharashtra, the 32-year-old man from the MP district, Rewa, is concerned that he will not be able to subsist on Rs 150 either. he has left or paid for his trip back home.
Private doctors are charging Rs 400-500 for a medical certificate stating that someone does not have flu symptoms. We entered a group, so the cost reached Rs 350, said Tiwari, who was not paid his salary in March. by his employer at Saki Naka in Andheri East.
While Ajay is desperate to return to his village, the reality of life without livelihoods has hit home for electrician Sundar Singh, who had returned to his hometown of Almora from Gurgaon three days before the confinement began. . Seeing all those people walking hundreds of kilometers to return home, I considered myself lucky. But I have had no income since then and my savings are rapidly running out, he said. Back in Gurgaon, I used to earn Rs 9,000 a month, while my older brother sent around Rs 15,000 home from Delhi.
Ajay and Sundar represent the fight on both sides of the great Indian reverse migration that is unfolding in every state.
Since migrant trains are unlikely to run from Mumbai Covid-19 hotspots anytime soon, road trips home are currently the only option. The rules specify that migrant workers must pay for their trip back home. They have to organize into groups and apply to the police or collector before making travel arrangements.
The first private bus that left Mumbai for Jalor in Rajasthan on Sunday night cost travelers Rs 1 lakh. The 25 migrants on board paid Rs 4,000 each to cover a distance of 800 km. Usually the rate is from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500. Another private bus will leave for UP on Monday morning. The charges are Rs 8,000 per head, and the total cost of the bus is Rs 2 lakh. Most of those who board the bus are small Dharavi merchants.
Daily-wage workers with no earnings during the shutdown are those who have no choice, unless the government intervenes.
Mohammad Izhat used to earn 500 rupees a day as a loader, but he has no money left. I break my Ramzan fast with water. Only when NGOs distribute food or rations do we get something to eat. I can't afford to go home, he said.
He had considered walking home, but abandoned the idea. My two children are only 5 and 8 years old. It would have been too much for them, he said.
Three Shramik trains with 1,200 passengers left on Sunday, one from Vasai and Bhiwandi outside the MMR region, to Gorakhpur in UP. A third train left Nagpur for Lucknow at night with 927 passengers.
An official said the Rajasthan and MP governments had written to Maharashtra, seeking to evacuate their migrant workforce. MP prime minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan On Sunday, he announced that no migrant returning home by train would have to pay the fee.
The Rajasthan government has sought between 25 and 30 trains to bring back around 4 lakh migrants, while MP has sought the return of around 26,000 migrants from Amravati, Aurangabad and Nagpur. Maharashtra's energy minister has written to CM Uddhav Thackeray, seeking financial support for all those traveling on Shramik trains.
Amidst all the hardships migrant workers face, many people are forced to flee their despair. A video clip that has gone viral on social media shows the owner of a medical store in Kadodara in Gujarat selling photocopies of registration forms to migrants for Rs 10 each.