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Migrants once again queue up at bus stands to head home
New Delhi, April 20, 2021
After the Delhi government announced a week-long lockdown from Monday night to contain the spike of Covid cases, Anand Vihar and Kaushambi bus stands of Delhi and Ghaziabad are once again abuzz with migrant labourers, who are returning to their home towns in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and elsewhere.
They 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 sun, they were seen waiting for the transport for their destinations.
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 a poor man pay room rent without a 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 the fear of the coronavirus is not in their minds. The uppermost thought in their minds is how to reach home without having to make the journey 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.