Mohammad Iqbal, a migrant worker stole a bicycle in Bharatpur, Rajasthan to reach his home in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. However he left a apologising to the cycle owner, a report in Hindustan Times said.
Iqbal stole the cycle from Sahab Singh’s house in Rarah village in Bharatpur on Monday night. Singh reportedly found the letter written by Iqbal in his veranda.
Rarah is a gram panchayat which falls on the border between Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
“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 laborer 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.
The main sufferers of the Coronavirus lockdown are the migrants and the daily wagers with only few means and no money to return to their native places they have to walk or peddle their way back home.
Hindustan Times quoted Rajeev Gupta, a sociologist as saying, 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.
Owners and the contractors for whom these labourers worked didn’t treat them well, added Gupta.
“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 further said.