A migrant worker from Madhya Pradesh who along with his family was stranded in Hyderabad during the lockdown managed to get back home after walking around 700 kilometres, wheeling along with his pregnant wife and daughter on a makeshift wooden cart for the most part of the journey.
According to ANI, Ramu Ghormare who had arrived seeking work in Hyderabad with his wife Dhanwanta Bai, was forced to return home in Balaghat district after a lockdown was imposed within a few days. However, with no buses or other vehicles plying on the road, Ghormare resorted to fashioning a makeshift cart put together with some sticks tied together. He wheeled Dhanwanta and his toddler all the way to his home in Balaghat district.
Dhanwanta said, "We reached Hyderabad on March 17. A few days later the lockdown was imposed and soon we ran out of money. There was also no food for us and we decided to leave the city. My husband made the cart for me." At the border area, a police team led by sub-divisional officer Nitesh Bhargava gave biscuits and food to the family and made arrangements to take them home.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the Centre has worked together with state governments to provide trains to migrant workers to return home and the railways have already run 806 Shramik Special Trains ferrying 10 lakh stranded labourers.
"This government is concerned about migrants... (It) touches all our hearts to see migrants with their families, children with their bags and baggage waking on the roads. I just want to tell you that the Union Government has definitely worked together with state governments to provide ... train facility," she told reporters.
She said 1,200 Shramik Special Trains are available and ready so that every day 300 such trains can run. "State governments have to ask for (the train) by saying I want this many numbers of trains... And the moment they say, within 3-5 hours trains are provided to that station to take the passengers back to their states," FM Sitharaman said.
"Railways has already run 806 Shramik Special Trains in which 10 lakh migrant workers have gone back to their respective destinations. So states and the Centre are working together to have the migrants taken back," Sitharaman said.
(With agency inputs)