Politics and Nation

Coronavirus lockdown takes toll on migrant workers

​A long walk homeReuters
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​A long walk home
In the wake of the global pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21 day national lockdown, which has brought the country to a standstill, affecting lives across the subcontinent, especially those of the unorganised sector.

In pics: Migrant workers carry their belongings as they walk along a road to return to their villages in New Delhi.
​How to reach homePTI
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​How to reach home
Migrant labourers across the country have one common worry: how to reach home.
​Boarding a rickshawPTI
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​Boarding a rickshaw
While most private organizations shifted their operations to employees’ homes, many businesses - like a plywood factory near Lucknow, cannot afford that luxury.
​Shutdown is a crisisPTI
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​Shutdown is a crisis
The shutting down of factories and other labour intensive industries meant the loss of livelihood for hundreds of daily wage workers who migrate to big cities from their home towns in search of jobs.

In pic: Delhi government workers serve food to homeless people and daily wagers during nationwide lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic, near Nigam Bodh ghat in New Delhi.
​JourneyPTI
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​Journey
The lockdown and its effects have meant that there is no transport for migrant workers to return home in a time of crisis - forcing them to begin a long trek back home.
​A national situationPTI
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​A national situation
The migrant labour crisis has spread across the country, with labourers from Delhi walking to Uttar Pradesh while many from Surat are walking back to their homes in the state of Gujarat itself.
​Distributing food packetsBCCL - Non Copyright
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​Distributing food packets
According to government statistics, every year more than nine million migrant workers move from rural areas to large population centers to find work at construction sites or factories, sending money back to their home towns and villages.

In pic: Volunteers distributes food packets to migrant workers.
​Returning to villagesReuters
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​Returning to villages
Migrant workers walk along a road to return to their villages, during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi.
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