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Labourers in Puducherry set out on 1500 km cycle journey to reach home in Odisha

The firm owner, though, had not cleared their dues of two months prior to the lockdown.

Published: 16th May 2020 09:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2020 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers who started their journey from Puducherry to Odisha on Wednesday, taking rest at a bus shelter in Red Hills at Chennai on Friday

Migrant workers who started their journey from Puducherry to Odisha on Wednesday, taking rest at a bus shelter in Red Hills at Chennai on Friday | SHIBA PRASAD SAHU

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Stranded in Puducherry for over two months, four migrant laborers of Odisha have set out for their native places on bicycles after they failed to find any bus or train to return home.
Narottam Barik, Jitendra Barik and Surendra Barik of Balasore district and Bulu of Cuttack district were engaged in loading and unloading of goods in a transportation firm at Puducherry.

The firm owner, though, had not cleared their dues of two months prior to the lockdown.Although the firm was closed during the lockdown, the labourers waited in Puducherry for work to resume. However, as the lockdown was extended twice, they decided to return to their native places. But, with no buses or trains leaving from Puducherry, they decided to purchases four cycles with whatever little money they had saved in a year. “All of us were left with only around 4,000 each and the entire saving went into buying the cycles. We had no other option”, said Narottam. They started their journey on Wednesday night.

Determined to reach their destination, they are cycling throughout the day despite the scorching heat.
The four reached Chennai on Friday after a night halt at Tambaram in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. A Good Samaritan helped them with biscuits and bread in Chennai and they started the arduous journey again in the noon.The migrants are hopeful of covering the 1500-km journey to reach Odisha after 12 days.

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