Post lockdown, waves of migrants head for home states on foot, a situation reminiscent of Partition exodus

With modes of public transport shut for 21 days and economic activities at a standstill, migrant daily wage workers have been one of the worst-hit after India went into lockdown to counter coronavirus

Scene at the UP-Delhi border
Scene at the UP-Delhi border
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NH Web Desk

Migrant and daily wage workers have been some of the worst-hit as the coronavirus pandemic sent incomes for a toss with even welfare schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme affected by the lockdown.

With modes of public transport shut for 21 days and economic activities at a standstill, migrant daily wage workers have been one of the worst-hit as India began a total lockdown to counter coronavirus.

From Wednesday onward, a mass exodus of migrant workers began as many took to walking the long roads home.

On March 25, hundreds of migrant workers from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, were seen walking back to their homes even as jobs ran dry in cities.


Another journalist, Anumeha, shared a video of migrant workers from Surat, some of whom were planning to walk for 500 kms to Una.

Journalist Alok Pandey shared a video of a young migrant worker from Unnao in Uttar Prades, walking over 80 km to his village in Barabunki.

Similar scenes were seen in Delhi, home to thousands of migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. NDTV reported on workers starting two-day journeys on foot to cover the nearly 200 km distance to their homes along with their families including toddlers.

Journalist Somesh Jha pointed out that nearly 81 percent of India's workforce was in the unorganised sector and that these people remained largely uncovered by social security schemes or relief packages.


Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry on Friday asked state governments to prevent a mass exodus of migrant agriculture labourers, industrial workers and unorganised sector employees from their workplaces to hometowns amid a 21-day nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.

"The home ministry has issued an advisory to States/UTs to prevent the mass exodus of migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers, and unorganised sector workers, so as to prevent the spread of COVID19," an official spokesperson said.

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