Migrants wait for up to 4 hours with the hope that a truck will pick them up
HYDERABAD: A few truck drivers plying their vehicles on the National Highway 44 came to the rescue of migrant workers — walking or cycling home — by offering them lifts.
On Sunday, at Indulvai toll plaza near Nizamabad, a migrant couple walking to their hometown in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district from Uppal in Telangana, broke down in tears when a truck driver named Sukhbir Singh offered them a lift. While there are several truck drivers, who are demanding thousands of rupees to give migrants a lift on their vehicles, others like Singh have been lending a helping hand to these unfortunate workers on their long and arduous journey.
“I saw these migrant workers with their children waiting on the roadside for a ride. It is impossible for even adults to walk up to Chhattisgarh or Bihar in this heat without food and water. Here there are children as young as three or four months old. I just couldn’t see them suffer like that,” said Singh.
In the last one month, Singh has been trying to help walking migrant workers by giving them a free lift as far as he could.
“We have been waiting here for the past three to four hours for a truck to stop by. A few vehicles have stopped but they were asking for Rs 2,000 each. We do not have that kind of a money. Me and my children will be grateful to this driver for giving us a lift up to Chhattisgarh for free,” said Sukanya Bai, who used to work as a construction worker in Uppal told TOI.
Another truck driver, Nilesh Kumar, who was on his way to Maharashtra from Medchal in Telangana offered a lift to at least 30 migrant workers in his truck on Sunday morning. “Initially, I preferred to just take three or four people with children or elderly. But today, I have more place in my vehicle. It is better to give them a lift instead of going in a half empty vehicle. I am only trying to ease their pain for some distance on their long and tiring journey. Most of them have to find another ride to their hometowns from the Maharashtra border,” said Kumar.
“There are many drivers who are demanding money from these people, but I don’t think that is right. Most of them don’t even have money to feed their children. The plight of these migrant workers is really unimaginable,” Kumar said as he was trying to make more place in the driver’s cabin to accommodate a few more workers.