Migrant workers from Bihar relieved to return but worried about work


After the recent surge in the number of Covid cases in nearly all parts of the country amid the second wave of the pandemic, the people living outside Bihar are now returning to their native state. The Indian Railways have also run special trains to facilitate their return. The migrant workers who have returned to Bihar have now begun to worry about finding work here. Some are thinking about doing farming while many people are thinking about engaging in contractual labour.

Hundreds of people from Mokama, adjoining Bihar’s state capital Patna, earned their livelihood working in other states. Many such people have returned to their native villages. Anand Kumar, a resident of Ghoswari village, says that dozens of people from his village had gone to other states to earn money and have now returned home or are preparing to return to their native place fearing a lockdown.

He said he had also come back to his native place when the lockdown was imposed last year in view of the pandemic. He was left without work after the lockdown was lifted following which he again returned to Bihar. Now once again due to the lockdown people are forced to return to their native places.

Subedar Rai, a resident of a village near Ghoswari, used to work as a security guard in Mumbai. His whole family was infected with coronavirus and his wife died of the infection. Following this, he left Mumbai and returned to his native village. He said nobody cares in big cities. “I have returned to my native village facing a lot of trouble. Now come what may, I will not leave Bihar. I will work in the fields,” he added.

Ram Surat, a labourer who works in a Pune factory, has also returned to Bihar. He had returned home last year when the situation due to the pandemic had worsened. When the situation improved, the factory owner called him back to work, but now everybody has returned to their homes. He has a family in Bihar. “I will stay in Bihar for a few days and when the situation improves, then I will return to work.” He is relieved that he has returned to his native state.

However, asked how will he get employment here, he says that he could survive for some days but if the situation due to the pandemic persists for a long time, then it would become difficult.

Ramnandan, who lives in Chanka village of Purnia district, does not want to leave Bihar now. He said he returned home last year and is now doing farming. What is the use in moving out of Bihar. Advising other people, he says that one should search for work in Bihar. He said the state government is also working towards giving work to people.

People from Bihar travel in search of work to most parts of the country. Due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, factories and businesses are being shut down in many states, due to which people are returning to their native states. However, the number of infected cases is also rapidly increasing in Bihar. The people who have returned to their states are relieved that at least they have returned to their villages.