The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost everyone in the world directly or indirectly. While many lost their loved ones to the pernicious virus, others lost their income sources, struck at their homes with no clear indication of when the world would reopen again. Students are facing a miserable time since their ‘golden days’ of colleges/schools have been snatched away due to the deadly virus, and now they have no option but to study online. Spending several hours daily in front of laptop screens and mobile phones attending their classes has affected their mental as well as physical health. The situation remains the same for WFH employees also.
Similarly, the daily wage workers or migrant workers have lost their income sources and are forced to return to their villages. The situation remains endangered for them as the uncertainty regarding the eradication of the pandemic is persisting. As the second wave of COVID is dipping in India, these workers are returning to the cities. Several workers from Bihar and West Bengal are returning to Mumbai to restart their earnings. As the COVID is growing more profound in rural areas, and the lack of hospitals and medical facilities persist, they are returning to the cities for their survival.
Report: More than 4 lakh Migrant workers left Delhi amid the second wave of COVID-19
Reportedly, more than 8 lakh migrant workers left Delhi before the 4-week lockdown announced by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. The lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of the virus as Delhi was surging in the COVID-19 cases back then. With the imposition of the lockdown, we can say that Delhi has successfully controlled the COVID-19 as the cases have dipped from the high of 28,434. Today, Delhi recorded 3,009 cases of COVID-19. Between April 19 and May 14, a total of 8,07,032 immigrant workers left Delhi for their countries by bus, with 3,79,604 leaving in the first week of the actual lock. The number began to decline from there, with 2,12448 remaining in the second week, 1,22,490 in the third week, and 92 with 490 in the fourth week. “Timely co-operation with the transport authorities of neighboring countries, especially Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand by the NCT Government of Delhi has helped the eight-page refugee workers to reach their destination without any problems,” the report said. There have been 21 879 outbound buses during the four-week lockout, he added.
On April 19, CM Arvind Kejriwal announced a lockdown in Delhi for one week which was later extended several times. The last lockdown was announced on May 16. The uncertainty remains the same as whether the CM will announce another week of lockdown tomorrow. The Transport Department of Delhi has increased the number of buses to assist the migrant workers to reach their native place. In March 2020, a huge number of migrant workers gathered ISBT for boarding the buses and reach back to their homes. Seems like the Transport Department has learned from its past mistakes. The Department of Transport, Govt. NCT of Delhi has set up a plan to distribute 500 cluster buses on international routes in the event of an emergency. The migrant workers preferred trains for traveling back to their home towns as they are operational, unlike the last year where they had to travel on their foot.