A disturbing but familiar situation is playing out in Delhi and Maharashtra as migrant workers from other states are leaving these cities for their homes en masse. This comes after a week-long lockdown imposed by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal and a similar lockdown announcement is expected in Maharashtra by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in his tonight’s address at 8 p.m.
Similar to the last year’s nationwide lockdown in March, large numbers of migrant workers are being seen concentrating at bus depots and train stations, waiting to catch a ride home while others have decided to start their journey on foot.
Some of the migrants, when questioned as to why they were leaving, said that most of them have been dismissed from their work because of the lockdown and are unable to make a living in these desperate times. Despite Delhi CM Kejriwal calling for patience and assuring that the migrants need not leave and they will be provided with provisions, most are still leaving either because of their lack of faith in these promises or to avoid dissipating themselves without earning, as most have lost their jobs.
These migrant workers have humble backgrounds and they hardly can sustain a lockdown without being employed as they do not have much in terms of savings. They rest their hopes in the system but when it seems to fail them, they start moving back to their states to avoid being stranded in an unknown state in case an emergency pops up.