Jaipur – Mohammad Iqbal a migrant worker, stole a cycle from Rajasthan’s Rarah village from the house of Sahab Singh to pedal over 250 kms with his son to reach Bareily, his hometown in Uttar Pradesh, however he left behind a heartening apology note for the cycle owner.
Main majdoor hun, majboor bhi. Main aapka gunehgar hu. Aapki cycle lekar ja raha hu. Mujhe maaf kar dena. Mujhe Bareily tak jana he. Mere pass koi sadhan nahi he aur viklang baccha hai…
“I am your culprit. But, I am a labourer and also helpless. I’m taking your bicycle. Forgive me. I have no other means to reach and I have a specially-abled child. I have to go to Bareilly”, read Iqbal’s handwritten note in Hindi.
Since the nationwide lockdown, hundreds of migrant labourers suddenly found themselves out of jobs and set off on foot or by hitchhiking to get home.
Sociologist Rajiv Gupta said, “The incident reflects the helplessness of the labourers and the failure of the governments. Before imposing the lockdown, the government should have arranged transport facilities for them so that they could have reached their native places. But it didn’t happen. Many labourers are hungry for months. They cannot feed themselves nor their family members”.
“They were neither given food nor pending wages. That’s why people are forced to do things which may be legally wrong. Because of the ignorant attitude of the state, it is happening for the first time in the country that people are moving to villages from cities. Generally, people from villages migrate to big towns in search of employment and opportunities”, added Gupta.