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A Migrant Worker’s Tale

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I am in my twenties a probationer with Green Park Hotel in Hyderabad , but hailing from Bihar. Service industry is the bedrock of India’s growth story and I am one of its footsoldier.

I was stuck in Hyderabad
because of the abrupt nationwide lockdown . We spend some days in the hotel before Green Park told me they could not employ me anymore and that they were laying off all new employees.

So despite our revered leader PM Modiji’s appeal to all employers not to sack employees, I lost my new job.

Despite his appeal to landlords not to charge rent from migrant workers , I had to pay rent until it became really difficult.

At that point , I decided to return to Bihar, come what may. After running from pillar to post, I finally managed to get into a Shramik Special train going to Delhi on 18th May — nearly two months after the lockdown , by when my purse was almost empty and hardly any balance was left in my bank account .

When I reached Delhi on 19th May , I realised it was impossible to get into a train to Bihar. So I had to ask my family for money to hire a car, which was asking for Rs 30000, even if it was really difficult. I found a friend from my place who was willing to share half the cost in a desperate attempt to reach home, sweet home.

Having stayed a day in my maternal uncle’s place in Delhi , me and my friend started our car journey across the Gangetic plains on 20th May afternoon. We reached Bihar well past midnight next day covering more than 1200 kms by continuous driving , as we took turns with the driver.

This video is compiled from our shoot on that journey .. I am lucky because my family could afford the few thousand rupees to help me travel by car , far more lucky than the millions who have perished on the long marches back home, those nearly 100 who died while travelling on Shramik Specials, those whose buses overturned sending them to death. All I can say is God bless their souls and pray to God to save my people, my dear country.

I am jobless but thankfully not homeless any more. I dont know whether I will go back to Hyderabad where I studied and where I have left behind dozens of friends. I dont know what happens to my career because hotels are stopping to recruit and laying off employees citing zero revenue. We don’t know if there is any Modi package for my industry.
But if I cannot go back to a job in a Hyderabad hotel, I doubt if the Indian growth story will survive the virus . Because that will spell the end of the Mobile lndian Middle Class dream — with it the dream of a strong new India.

We Indians have survived so much ordeals , hopefully we survive this as well. Here is the story of my journey through virus-hit India.

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