New Delhi: Worried about losing their jobs again and left out to walk miles to their way back home, a huge mob of migrants began heading to the bus stations as soon a week-long lockdown was imposed by the Delhi government on Monday.
Anand Vihar and Kaushambi bus stations faced chaos as people gathered to return to their hometowns. When the weekend curfew was announced, many had set the journey back to their homes but on Monday, there was a need for urgency in the scenario.
People were worried that the situation last year where they had to walk hundreds of kilometers with their family and other belongings would not be repeated again. A huge mob of passengers surrounded bus stations to flee the national capital and return to their hometowns.
Anand Vihar Bus Terminal in Delhi. These are photos from afternoon. Despite appeal of Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal, migrant workers leave India’s national capital just as week-long lockdown is announced. Horrible. Similar scenes like last year. No plan to help migrants by Delhi Govt? pic.twitter.com/oPFGwEZ4GR
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) April 19, 2021
A 6-day curfew has been imposed starting from 10 pm today to 5 pm next Monday in the national capital. This step was taken by the government in view of the covid case spike. Although the situation this year has been in control in advance as trains are running and buses are available for travel, there has been a rush among people.
People could be seen climbing up the walls to enter the terminals and grab a seat on the bus. Even the top roof was flooded with passengers. It was a terrific sight to watch people throwing away all the mandatory precautions. Workers from Gorakhpur told the media that they had already searched for work in various factories but to no avail. Since they don’t have enough food and money, they couldn’t stay back and also did not show any signs of trust in the government to take care of them during these hard times.
#WATCH | Delhi: A huge rush of migrant workers at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal.
Delhi Govt has imposed a 6-day lockdown beginning at 10 pm tonight. pic.twitter.com/LDFesCKiKQ
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2021
In a press meeting today, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made an appeal to the workers to stay at their places as the lockdown was temporarily short on and would not prolong.
He announced that the Delhi government would be taking care of the migrant workers through this crisis.
Daily wage laborer, Manoj, who was waiting for the bus told the news agency IANS that he had lost his job in the city and was unable to pay the rent. He was worried as to how will he feed his family. “Last year I paid rent of 4 months from my own pocket. I even have small children, I will not come back now.”, he said. Like Manoj, there were many others desperate to return back to their homes. While there was no social distance protocol being followed, it seemed like people are not afraid of the corona, rather they are more worried about how to reach homes without having to walk miles on foot.