The horror stories of what migrant labourers are having to face amid Covid just don't seem to subside as a group that travelled from Mumbai to somehow reach their native place in Gonda, Madhya Pradesh, has now been forced to spend the quarantine in open fields, as the villagers have closed doors to them.
"From Mumbai till Gonda it took us about 10 days. We had come here hoping to live in our safe homes amid the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown. However, upon reaching here the villagers have shut the doors on us. They say we bring coronavirus," said Ram Tirath Yadav, a labourer who used to earn his daily living in Mumbai.
While elaborating on the ordeal that the migrant workers are going through, a woman whose son returned from Mumbai said, "During the journey from Mumbai to Gonda, my son met with an accident in which he fractured his leg. However, I cannot go near him. Every day, like other people in the village, I come to the ground to keep the food and then stand at a distance while somebody comes to pick it up."
Another labourer, Harish Yadav said: "In Mumbai, we faced a shortage of food ever since the lockdown was imposed, here no one from the administration has come to take us to a sheltered quarantine facility."
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Nitin Bansal said, "Several people are arriving here via trains, state buses and private vehicles. Everyone is getting tested for coronavirus and then proper steps are being taken as per the guidelines issued by the Central Government."
The Ministry of Home Affairs while extending the lockdown on May 1, issued an order to allow the movement of migrant workers, tourists, students and others stranded at different places by Sramik special trains, the cost of which would be borne 85% by the Centre and 15% by the states. Despite the Centre facilitating the state governments to run Shramik special trains, the migrant workers have been left to fend for themselves with no money or means of transport and are forced to set on foot to distant places.