What migrant labourers say in lockdown: 'work can wait, family cannot'

In the last few days, the restlessness of the migrant workers has spilled into the streets in major cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi, and Surat.

migrants, workers, shelter, jobs, population, poverty, coronavirus, industry
A shelter home set up for migrant workers and the poor at Yamuna Sports Complex in east Delhi. Photo: Sanjay K Sharma

Even as the government has sought to revive economic activity in a phased manner, stranded migrant workers are sceptical about staying on. With uncertainty looming large over the trajectory of the deadly coronavirus in the coming days, they are eager to return home.   “I want to see my wife and kids. I want to return home. Work can wait,” says 45-year-old construction worker Parshuram Thakur, who works in Bengaluru. Thakur, whose native place is in Bihar, has a wife, two daughters, and a son — all dependents.   After staying in Bihar for two months ...