After the Delhi government announced a week long lockdown from Monday 10 p.m. to arrest the spike of Covid cases, Anand Vihar and Kaushambi bus stands of Delhi and UP are once again abuzz with migrant labourers, who are fleeing from the city fearing that the shutdown of the public transport may force them to walk hundreds of kilometers, a scene reminiscent of the last year.
Hundreds of people including children and elderly queued up at these bus stations on Monday with their belongings to head home leaving their jobs and employment back in the city. Sweating in the scorching son, they were seen waiting for the transport for their destination. Losing bread seems easier for these migrants than the fear of walking hundreds of kilometers.
Manoj, a migrant labourer waiting for a bus at the bus stand, told IANS, “I am going to the village due to the lockdown, how can the poor man give room rent without job? The company will be closed. From where will I earn money to feed my family? Last year I paid 4 months rent from my own pocket. i have small children, I will not come back now.”
Prem Sagar, another migrant labourer told IANS, “I am going to my village. After the lockdown, work will be stopped, then how will I earn? I will come back after the lockdown is over and work starts.”
Like them, many others from various parts of Delhi and Ghaziabad are heading to the bus stands from where they will catch a bus to their villages. However, this time corona fear is not in their mind, the only ting which is uppermost in their mind is how to reach home witout walking on foot.
The spike in Covid cases has cast a shadow on businesses with migrant labourers bearing the brunt of the curbs and restrictions put in place by the various governments.