HYDERABAD: Seeing the plight of migrant workers walking to their homes thousands of kilometres away lugging their luggage, and with their kids in tow on the Medchal highway, Ashish Vijay Savaria and five of his friends decided to pool in money and book buses to help them reach home. Being called the ‘local Sonu Soods’ by many on Instagram, the team pooled in their personal savings, as well as anonymous donations to help the poor people.
“I was distributing food and water to the needy in Secunderabad area when I heard that thousands of migrant workers were leaving for their home towns from Medchal highway either by walk or hitching rides on trucks,” says Ashish, 29, a fitness trainer who lives in East Marredpally. “On June 8, I booked 10 tickets on Shramik trains for some people waiting outside Secunderabad station.” He adds, then, “As we were feeding migrant labourers at a government shelter, we noticed many wanted to go back home but were stuck due to financial difficulties.”
Ashish and his friends then decided to book buses to help them out. They have been able to send at least 150 people in three buses to Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar. “I also gave money to some people for their food and other expenses,” shares Ashish. “After seeing my posts on social media, many also came forward with donations,” says he on how he managed to pool in financial resources. When we asked if he was inspired by Sonu Sood, he says, “I think there are Sonu Soods everywhere, but not everyone gets recognised. It gives me immense happiness that I was there to help at the right time.” —tamanna@ newindianexpress.com @tamannamehdi