Thursday, 19 May, 2022
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UP migrants reach Hardoi from Punjab by train, but are then told to find their own way home

The migrants are now stranded on the Lucknow-Hardoi-Shahjahanpur highway as they wait for a truck or car to give them a lift home.

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Hardoi: As many as 1,188 migrant workers of Uttar Pradesh arrived from Punjab Thursday evening at Hardoi railway station via a special Shramik train being run by the central government to ferry migrants to their home states.

On their return, a few hundred migrant workers were kept at a state government office and given food for the night. But, they were asked to leave the place Friday morning and find their own conveyance to reach home.

“Looks like our distress won’t ever end. They got us here from the railway station and then asked us to leave. Had they told us before, we would have tried to arrange something. Now what do we do in this summer with children? Our home (Bhagauli) is 35 km away from here,” said Sunaina, a migrant labourer, who worked at a Dhaga (thread) Mill in Mohali, Punjab.

An 11-year-old girl waiting with her family along the the Lucknow-Hardoi-Shahjahanpur highway in UP
An 11-year-old girl waiting with her family along the Lucknow-Hardoi-Shahjahanpur highway in UP | Photo: Jyoti Yadav | ThePrint

Also read: Kejriwal, Mamata, migrant crisis — what’s keeping BJP chief Nadda busy during lockdown


Migrants waiting for trucks to drop them home

The migrant labourers sat in groups along the Lucknow-Hardoi-Shahjahanpur highway as they hoped that some truck or car would drop them home.

Amit Kumar, who also worked at the Dhaga Mill, was sitting with his family of seven members out of which four were children. Two of them were between the age of 6 months and 2 years.

“The authorities brought us here to stay, they also gave us some ration of 10 kg (salt, flour and rice) and 1 kg potato, but how will we carry all of this and go home? I have called someone from our village. Let’s see if we get to go home,” said Kumar, who stays in Bhagauli village.

After waiting for around 4 hours, finally one of Kumar’s relatives arrived in a mini-truck and the entire family hopped into it and left for home. 

A 4-year-old girl in her playful mood
A 4-year-old girl in her playful mood | Photo: Jyoti Yadav | ThePrint

‘We’re exhausted’

As Kumar and his family boarded the truck, other stranded migrants looked at them with eager faces.

“Don’t know how to go home. We have been moving from one place to another for days, now we are just exhausted, can’t express ourselves,” said Arun, another migrant worker who worked in Chandigarh. 

Arun told ThePrint that he just wants to go to his family and rest. He is a native of Sandana in Sitapur, which is about 30 km from Hardoi.

“Papa has gone to ask people to let us board their vehicle. If they agree, then we can leave. If not, then we have to call someone from our village and wait and see, no other option,” said Princy, who’s entire family worked at the Dhaga Mill. 

The migrant labourers sat for hours on the highway, requesting truck drivers who had parked their vehicles to help them reach their villages, or at least half way, but to no avail.


Also read: Eager, relieved faces at New Delhi railway station as 1,200 migrants board train to MP


Rejoinder

The Nodal Officer at the UP Chief Minister’s Office has said this report is “misleading and based on twisted facts”.

An official rebuttal issued by the Additional District Magistrate, District Hardoi, says the news item wrongly mentioned migrant labourers who came from Punjab by Shramik Express on Thursday, and were kept at the Todarmal Training Institute of Land Records in Hardoi, were asked to vacate the place the next morning and arrange their own conveyance.

“…the migrant labourers coming to Hardoi district by Shramik Express, whether or not they are from the district, are being sent to their respective destinations by buses, and it is being ensured that they don’t face any inconvenience,” the ADM said.

ThePrint reporters’ response

The report is based on eyewitness accounts and interviews of workers who were sitting by the roadside. ThePrint reporters were witness to these workers arranging their own travel and their relatives arriving in mini-trucks to take them home.

Here is the video report of the same which backs the text report:

ThePrint stands by the report.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Have seen the same topic as podcast. These journos malignantly distorted the events as can be heard and seen in clip. These migrants travelled from Punjab to Hardoi by train, and from Hardoi to the place shown by bus. Both were organised by the respective state governments. The migrants were not complaining about arranging for their transport for the last 30 – 35kms. As conveyed by this malicious duo. They prove what is taught in the journalism classes ‘ Negativity sells, and we must sell’.

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