As India continues to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and slowing economic growth, some of the 30 migrant workers over 100 lakh from Uttar Pradesh who returned during isolation have returned to work.
At the government bus stop in Deoria, eastern Uttar Pradesh, 50 km from the Gorakhpur branch line serving Maharashtra, Gujarat and elsewhere, Diwakar Prasad and Khursheed Ansari both board for Gorakhpur.
Mr. Ansari is a factory worker in Mumbai and says that his large sewing unit is still closed and that he returned home just a month ago.
“If there was a job at UP, I would not come back. My business has not started yet but I am going back to find the job I can. Corona is better than hunger. It is better for me to die than for die my coronavirus kids, “Ansari told GalacticGaming before getting on the bus.
Mr. Prasad, a technician in a Kolkata company, had returned home for Holi but got stuck in UP due to the lock. His business has reopened and he says he is returning to Calcutta to help his family of five and his wife. “I am afraid but I am also afraid of living here. How will I eat and feed my family?” said Mr. Prasad.
Diwakar Prasad, Khursheed Ansari and others in eastern Uttar Pradesh are seeking to return despite the fact that the state government has promised jobs in the state itself. On Saturday, the government claimed an all-time record in the number of people working under MNREGA in Uttar Pradesh and also said that the employment of 60 lakh people was generated in small industries.
In Siddharth Nagar, a remote and remote district in eastern UP that has seen the maximum number of migrant workers returning, Mohammed Abid, an AC technician in his late 20s, says he returns to Mumbai because that the government’s plans and promises have not reached him. “There is a lot of money in Mumbai but I will not be able to manage here (in Uttar Pradesh). Even if plans are signed up, they do not reach us. It is like being unemployed. is no work here. You go to anyone and they say there is no work, “said Abid.
At Ballia station, also in eastern Uttar Pradesh and on the border with Bihar, Rajesh Kumar Verma, who spent three months at home, has now returned to Ahmedabad in his grocery store which he keeps for rent .
“The government gives rations but there are other expenses and there is no work here except under MNREGA. I have a store there (in Ahmedabad) and a room to rent. The rent is piling up and if I don’t come back, how will I pay for it? “Said Mr. Verma.
As hundreds of thousands of migrant workers remain in Uttar Pradesh due to the pandemic, some are now saying they are ready to take the risk of returning to work.