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.
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.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
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.
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.
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.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.