Harrowing pictures show hundreds of thousands of migrant workers flocking to state borders in India despite nationwide lock down
- Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in India’s national capital New Delhi were seen flocking to the Uttar Pradesh border in hopes of getting home.
- The country is currently under a nationwide lockdown shutting down services in the unorganised sector like construction projects and taxis — leaving many day labourers without a job.
- Uttar Pradesh chief minister announced that over 200 buses will be arranged to bring migrant workers home. Once across the border, they will be placed under quarantine.
- Follow the comprehensive coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic in India on Business Insider India.
After the government’s sudden announcement of a 21-day nationwide lock down, migrant workers are in a bind. Most of them have no place to stay in the city — as the police kicks them off the streets — and public transportation was shut down.
The Uttar Pradesh government announced that it would arrange for over 200 buses to help these workers come home.
As a result, thousands of workers walked to the Anand Vihar bus station along Delhi’s border with Uttar Pradesh — some all the way from Gurgaon. Most of them are daily labourers who are now out of work with construction projects, taxi services and other services in the informal sector coming to a halt.
Due to the lock down, many have been without essential supplies like food and water for the past two days as supplies run short and money becomes scarce.
Not every wage worker on the bus is looking to go to Uttar Pradesh. Some are hoping that they’ll be able to find other modes of transportation once they’re across to border to reach states like Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
According to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, over 100,000 people have returned to the state from other parts of the country in the last three years. All of them have been directed to stay under quarantine with their names, addresses, and phone numbers available to the district magistrates.
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