A 24-year-old man who died
while on his way to Basti in Uttar Pradesh from Surat in Gujarat amid the lockdown was the sole bread earner of his family, his friend said over phone from hospital in Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.
Amrit Kumar, who died here late night on Saturday, has a 70-year-old disabled father, a 13-year-old brother and five sisters, all of whom depended on his salary which came to Rs 480 per day after working 12 hours in a loom in the booming Gujarat city, his colleague and village friend Mohammad Saiyub (22) said.
"Amrit and I hailed from Deori village in Basti and we worked together at the loom, and lived in the same tenement, in Surat. It is devastating to think what will happen of his family, his disabled father, his siblings, one of whom was of marriageable age and for whom the family was looking for a groom," he said from the isolation ward in the district hospital here.
"None of his family members were working so a lion's share of Amrit daily earnings of Rs 480 was sent home. We left from Surat for UP because we were almost out of cash and could not take in the pangs of being unemployed for over two months any more," he said.
Saiyub said the two paid Rs 400 each as fare and left with almost 60 others in a truck in the early hours of May 14.
En route, at around 2pm on Saturday, Amrit developed severe breathing problems, and his condition deteriorated rapidly, spreading panic among those in the truck, he said.
He was taken to the district hospital here where he died at around 11pm that day.
"I could never get to know what his last wish was. We have been friends since childhood and I do not know how I will face his family, as Amrit was the centre of their activities and expectations," Saiyub said sorrowfully.
The two had covered 850 kilometres to reach Shivpuri from Surat, and another 622 kilometres were left from here to Basti in UP to be among loved ones in the middle of a crippling lockdown before fate intervened.
Saiyub, having run out of money and nursing numbing pain due to the loss of a close friend, said he was now waiting for his coronavirus test report to come in by Sunday night.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)