Telangana: Hungry, bankrupt and 800 km from home

NIZAMABAD: After walking non-stop for five days along National Highway 44, a group of 20 ate for the first time when they arrived at the Perkit crossing in Nizamabad on Friday night. The 800 kilometer distance they had traveled from Chennai thus far was halfway to their home in Satna, Madhya Pradesh.

Only when we got here did some good Samaritans offer us rotis and rice, said Ramkumar Joshi (28), visibly fatigued, as he prepared for the arduous. travel ahead. While the group had left with some food, they ran out of it within the first two days. For the rest of the travel up to Nizamabad, it was only biscuits and water.

“My vision began to blur due to lack of food for almost three days. I feel much better now, ”said the young migrant worker, lavishly thanking those who distribute food to hundreds of people on the road, desperate to get home.

This group of workers employed at construction sites in Chennai said they lost their jobs shortly after it was announced.

We had no choice but to return to our villages. Our contractor told us that he won't be able to give us work until the lock is lifted. We stayed behind thinking that work would resume soon, but when the blockade continued to spread, we lost hope. Since we didn't have enough money to hire a truck, we packed up the food scraps we had and started walking, ”said Ashok Lal, another migrant from the group. Workers said the next day after the closure was announced, their contractor stopped working and paid them only half the salary. “They (the authorities) should have informed us of the closure a few days in advance. Now we are on the roads without shelter or money, ”another anguished worker lamented.

“Neither the state governments nor the central government did anything for us. Otherwise why would we walk to Satna from Chennai? Lal asked, as she continued to walk down the road.

He was still another five days away from home.