The fourth day of the lockdown seems to be crumbling and the countrywide lockdown makes people scared to step out of their homes. In this tough situation, thousands of migrants had lined up outside the Anand Vihar bus terminal hoping to catch a bus to reach home.
According to the report, by late afternoon, the scene outside the Anand Vihar and Kaushambi bus terminals was of complete chaos. Thousands of people had stood on the highway trying to make it inside the bus terminal. Police and health officials conducted thermal screening of the passengers.
When media asked a man, standing in the queue to enter the bus stand, did they fear about the spread of this virus, he replied innocently that they are like our brothers why should we fear them? They all are like me.
For the past four days, a continuous stream of people – mostly daily wage workers from different parts of the country – could be seen walking to their homes. This is so painful. Isn’t it? Initially, the police forces deployed to enforce the lockdown on both sides of the Delhi–Uttar Pradesh border tried preventing people to walk back home but was forced to allow as the numbers kept increasing.
With luggage on their heads or children on their shoulders, migrant workers can be seen walking on any road that goes outside Delhi NCR.
Earlier in the day, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced that the Delhi government had deployed 100 buses and the UP government 200 buses for the migrants trying to walk to their homes. Sisodia, however, appealed that people should follow the lockdown.
An official of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation told “The Telegraph” online that the state administration had ordered the deployment of 1000 buses to facilitate the movement of these migrants.
The official who requested anonymity told that “This could have been avoided if the government planned in advance. All the bus depots in the state have been told to send some buses but it will take time for them to reach, especially from far off places like Azamgarh or Kanpur.”
Migrants expressed anger at the sudden announcement of the lockdown, walking without water and on an empty stomach. With four hours’ notice, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic.
“It is like a curfew,” Modi had said.
The migrant who speaks to Telegraph said Hashmat Ali, a 50-year-old construction worker in Delhi, the curfew meant no work for them. Ali lived with 15 others who had migrated from UP’s Bahraich for work. He said the landlord demanded rent or asked us to vacate the room. There will be no work in this lockdown. I don’t have money for chapatis, how do I pay the rent.
Like Ali, many of these migrants were asked to leave their rented rooms. Others said that their employers refused to give them food or salary.
“Hunger would kill us even before coronavirus would,” migrants said unanimously.