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A migrant worker based out of Sangli, Maharashtra, has peddled 1,800 kilometers from Mumbai to his home town in Odisha. The man in question is Mahesh Jena, who hails from a village called Patasur in Odisha.
According to IndiaTimes, Mahesh works at a factory in Sangli but was in Mumbai when the nationwide lock down came into effect. The lock down brought uncertainty as far as his job was concerned.
Mahesh Jena was unable to pay rent, and ran out of money fairly quickly. Over the course of a few days he decided the best thing was to make a 1,800 kilometer journey from Mumbai to Odisha on his bicycle as bus and train services were temporarily canceled.
He began his journey on 2 April with a backpack filled with a quilt, a change of clothes, water, a few sachets of soap, and a few packets of biscuits. In addition, the young man had under Rs 3,000 in cash.
Mahesh covered the distance in seven days, meaning he peddled roughly 230 kilometers a day to reach his village. He was helped by civilians and police personnel he met along the way. He reached his village on 9 April and was immediately put into isolation by the district administration.
Thousands of migrant workers have demanded that their respective States help them and others who are ‘stuck' at other cities. With little to no income they feel abandoned, lost, and terrified. Social activists have urged their States to give migrants access to essential amenities like accomodation and food.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lock down has resulted in the general masses being confined to their homes. The situation stands at the other end of the spectrum as far as migrant workers are concerned.
Thousands turned up at various bus and train stations only to be denied any form of transport. Others decided it was wise to walk hundreds of kilometers from their migrant cities to their villages, resulting in deaths of many workers.
While the Government of India, and respective State Governments are doing all they can to fight the pandemic, migrant workers feel they have been ignored. Their only want is to go back to their families.
Thoughts About Mahesh Jena Cycling 1,800 Kilometers To Reach His Village
Well, kudos to the young man for having cycled his way across 1,800 kilometers during a nationwide lock down. Having said that, we're sure the governments are doing a lot for migrant workers, and we know the auto manufacturers are involved heavily too. But is it really that difficult to them to organize a bunch of buses to get people home? For most migrant workers, it is the emotional support that is missing, not food or water.