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Migrants queue up at Yamuna Sports Complex in east Delhi, hoping to get ticket back home

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Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Hoping to return to their native places, migrant workers from different parts of the national capital and other states, have been queuing up outside east Delhi's Yamuna Sports Complex, which has been turned into a shelter for them amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

At the sports complex, migrant labourers can get themselves registered for train journey to their native states. Food is also provided to them at the complex.

Viraj Singh (19), a resident of Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh, said he walked all the way from Panipat in Haryana to reach the national capital.

"I went to Panipat around six months ago in search of a job. There, I used to work as labourer. On Wednesday, I started walking along with my friend from Panipat and reached here on Thursday morning after covering the distance of almost 87 kilometres. We hope the government will send us to Hardoi soon," he said.

Shivam Singh (19), the friend of Viraj, said they just want to get back home.

"We had no work in Panipat post the nationwide lockdown. We walked from Panipat to Delhi in the hope that we will return to our homes. We just want to go back to Hardoi and if they don't send us, then, we will wait for our turn," Shivam told PTI.

Shivan and Viraj also said they are not sure whether they will return to Panipat after the situation gets normal.

There were scores of other migrants, with hopes in their eyes, waiting outside the sports complex.

Umapati Shukla (36), a native of Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh, said,"I received the train reservation message at 3.51 am on Thursday. I saw it in the morning and rushed to Yamuna Sports Complex from Adarsh nagar along with my wife and two children at 8 am. Despite receiving the message, I am waiting outside the complex for almost eight hours now," Shukla said.

Shukla, a property dealer and an insurance agent, said it is becoming difficult to survive in the city.

"I tried for the movement passes, but couldn't get them. I have been living in Delhi for the past 15 years. I have no work post lockdown and we somehow managed to bear our basic expenses. Now the situation is deteriorating and we want to go to Gonda. We will return to the national capital after the situation gets normal," Shukla said.

Ashish Mishra, Executive Magistrate of Shahdara district and in-charge of Yamuna Sports Complex shelter home, said 750 people were sent to Uttar Pradesh and 500 to Bihar on Thursday.

"On Thursday, a total of 1,250 people, including 750 from UP and 500 from Bihar, have been sent to the railway station from where they will go back to their native states. We have a capacity of around 3,000 to 4,000 people and we want to expand it to 5,000.

"People who are leaving the shelter home for railway station are provided packed food and water. People are coming to the shelter home daily and also leaving as per the availability," Mishra said.

Brijesh Pandey (28), a resident of Shahdara, said he also received message and rushed to the complex at around 8 am.

"I received the reservation message at around 4 am on Thursday and reached the sports complex at 8 am. We have been waiting here since then.

"When we were coming, my landlord asked me where I are going. When I told him that I will come back, he said there is no need to come back again. Now, I have nowhere to go in Delhi and urge the authorities to send me and my family to Gonda in Uttar Pradesh," Pandey said.

Pandey works in a garment shop in Gandhi Nagar area of the city.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 20:03 IST