May 10 (TheIndianExpress) – Expressing anguish over the sight of migrant workers walking hundreds of kilometres to reach their homes, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Sunday urged them to not leave the city on foot.
Despite arrangements being made slowly by Delhi and other state governments, several workers have been walking home, tired of waiting for buses and trains arranged by the state.
“They have blisters on their feet, they don’t have food, some are carrying their children on their shoulders, in one case I saw a person carrying his old mother. It is rather painful,” Kejriwal said while addressing a webcast.
The Chief Minister said arrangements were being made for those keen on leaving, so no one should set out on foot, terming it as an unsafe option, especially in light of the tragedy in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad, where 16 migrants walking back to Madhya Pradesh were run over by a goods train on Friday.
Kejriwal also referred to the continuing exodus of migrant workers from the country’s major economic centres to their home states, especially Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh among others.
For those keen on leaving, transit arrangements are being made, he said. Over the last two days, one Shramik Special train each has left for Madhya Pradesh and Bihar with around 1200 migrants, respectively. On Sunday, few buses left for Punjab with stranded workers from the state. on leaving, transit arrangements are being made, he said.
The CM, however, said that work will be available soon and people should rethink leaving.
“It feels like the entire system has failed, all governments have failed. I want to make an appeal to all migrant workers stranded in Delhi, we are making all arrangements for you. So far we arranged food and lodging for you. So my first request to you is – please do not leave Delhi. This lockdown will not be here forever. Things will reopen, will reopen soon,” Kejriwal added.