Will inform family after train moves, say stranded migrants

Updated: May 03, 2020, 07:48 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

As train preps to leave from Bhiwandi for UP, stranded migrants say the relief they feel is inexpressible; Mumbai police ferry them to station in less than five hours, sans any chaos

Migrants sitting near Bhiwandi Road station waiting for their train to take them to Gorakhpur on Saturday night. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Migrants sitting near Bhiwandi Road station waiting for their train to take them to Gorakhpur on Saturday night. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

It was a race against time for Bhiwandi police on Saturday, when they were informed that a special train would leave from Bhiwandi Road Railway Station for Uttar Pradesh. The exercise of shortlisting passengers who belonged to UP's Gorakhpur district, and bringing them to the railway station, took less than five hours. And through it all, there was no chaos. The joy on the face of the migrants—who could finally see sight of home—was inevitable. The Government of India on Friday cleared the inter-state movement of trains for migrant labourers. Bhiwandi, a hub of handloom industries, is the workplace for more than thousands of labourers all of whom have been stranded after the nationwide lockdown. The local authorities received information from the Railway department that a special train would leave from Bhiwandi on Saturday. With 24 coaches it would run non-stop, completing the journey within 30 hours. Each passenger underwent a temperature check before boarding.

"As soon as we received this information, we started gathering information on people in the area who were from Gorakhpur and began the exercise with help of the municipal corporation and revenue department," says DCP Rajaram Shinde. "We shortlisted 1,200 persons."

Shamshuddin Sheikh, a driver, says, "I have spent the last one-and-half months with almost no money and very little groceries. I have been waiting for this day, now I am happy as I am going home to see my parents, wife and kids."

Another handloom worker, Muniram Yadav, says, it took him six hours to complete his registration with the authorities. "I haven't told my family that I am coming. I am going to inform them only after the train leaves," he adds.

Each coach will accommodate 54 passengers. The police have provided food, water, face masks and sanitisers to all passengers.

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