Acchelal, among other migrants queued up at Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Lajpat Nagar on Wednesday. Photo/ANI
Acchelal, among other migrants queued up at Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Lajpat Nagar on Wednesday. Photo/ANI

Migrants desperate to return home, forced to stand in long queues under scorching sun in Delhi's Lajpat Nagar

By Joymala Bagchi | Updated: May 20, 2020 14:44 IST


New Delhi [India], May 20 (ANI): South Delhi's Lajpat Nagar wore a different look on Wednesday with hundreds of homebound migrant labourers queuing up since morning to get their screening done before being taken to the New Delhi railways station from where they are scheduled to board a Shramik Special train for Bihar.
With mercury on the rise and no shade, the condition of migrants is worsening with each passing hour.
Those standing in the queue told ANI that they had received a text message on their phones late-night asking them to come at Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Lajpat Nagar at 8 am for screening before leaving for their state during the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
"I belong to Bihar's Khagaria district. I started walking at 3 am from my residence and reached Lajpat Nagar at 6:30 am. Now with the rising temperature, it is becoming impossible to stand here in such a long queue and wait for my turn. It is very hot here, also looking at the queue I have lost hope that my turn will come today," 60-year-old Acchelal told ANI here.
Another migrant labourer Atim Ali, 22 whose native place is in Araria said, "I have been standing here since 5:30 am. I received a text message on my phone at 2:30 in the night and immediately packed my luggage and started walking. The government could have given different time slots to different people or groups rather than asking all to come at the same time. It is very hot here and we do not even have water to drink."
A similar story was narrated by 44-year-old Atmaram, who reached the place with his two sons Atul (6), and Ashish (10) in hope of securing conveyance to their home town.
Most people in the queue received a message late at night between 12:00 and 2:30 am, and immediately started for Lajpat Nagar.
The national capital is witnessing long queues of migrant workers, desperate to return to their native places, regularly for the past few days.
The Railways is running special trains after the Centre granted permission for movement of stranded citizens, including migrants labourers, workers, students and tourists, to return to their native towns due to coronavirus-induced lockdown. (ANI)

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