Lockdown impact: Migrant workers from Assam walk to Chennai from Vellore, spend night under flyover

With nowhere to go, they spent a night under a flyover and finally ended up in a college here where they are temporarily lodged.

Published: 21st May 2020 08:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2020 08:31 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant labourers

For representational purposes (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)


CHENNAI: Physically exhausted by their long walk from Vellore and in between hitching a ride, about 45 migrant workers from Assam reached the Assam Bhavan here on Tuesday hoping to obtain necessary travel documents to reach home but found it locked to their dismay.

With nowhere to go, they spent a night under a flyover and finally ended up in a college here where they are temporarily lodged.

Most of them were working in restaurants in neighbouring Vellore.

The group, which also includes a 65-year-old man and a woman, hail from Sonitpur, Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam and are now staying at Asan Memorial College of Arts and Science, Pallikaranai, here.

They hope to get reunited with their families through government intervention, soon.

"Our landlords kept demanding rent from us and we had no money to pay as we had exhausted all our savings.

"Moreover,with the lockdown displacing us from our jobs at restaurants, we had no other option but to vacate the premises and exploreways to reach home," Ranjeet who has been working in Tamil Nadu for about a decade, told PTI.

They decided to reach the Assam Bhavan in Pallikaranai here in order to get their travel documents processed.

But the transit point turned into a nightmare as they could not obtain the necessary documents and their attempt to board a special train also turned futile.

The group had reached Assam Bhavan on May 19 but were told it was closed due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Initially, they were lodged at the Guru Nanak College in Velachery, after their bid to board a train from Central railway station failed.

They have all been screened and are being provided food and now await their turn to return home after official formalities are completed.

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