A photograph clicked by PTI photographer, Atul Yadav, in which a migrant worker can be seen sobbing on the roadside has broken the heart of anyone who saw it. And if the photo has had that effect on you, then the story behind the picture will sink your heart.
The photo is of 38-year-old Ram Pukar Pandit. He is a migrant labourer who lives in Nawada. Recently, he received a call from his wife from Bihar’s Begusarai when she informed her that her one-year-old baby has died. The labourer soon left everything and head to his way back home to see his child, one last time.
Photographer Atul recalls that he was driving across the Nizamuddin Bridge when he saw Ram Pukar sobbing uncontrollably.
‘In the last few weeks, I have come across and photographed so many migrants, one more helpless than the other, and honestly, I didn’t expect to feel surprised at the sight of a grown man crying. But I was’, Atul writes for PTI.
Atul Yadav soon stopped to ask the migrant worker where he wanted to go. The migrant worker pointed to one direction said “udhar“. It was only later that the photographer found out that ‘udhar’ meant his home – Bariarpur in Begusarai in Bihar, almost 1,200 km away.
Atul recounts, ‘He said he worked as a labourer in Najafgarh and, in the absence of any public transport, had started walking home like thousands of other migrants across the country. His journey abruptly came to a halt after the police at the bridge refused to let him go further. The man, broken and defeated, had been stuck at the Nizamuddin Bridge for three days’.
The photographer offered him biscuits and water and requested the police to let him cross the border. As the request had come from a media person, they took it into count.
The officials dropped the man at the New Delhi railways station where he boarded the special migrant train and was taken back to his home in Bihar. On reaching Bihar, he was taken to an MCD school to be screened for COVID-19.
Despite the fact that the migrant worker was taken back home, still one needs to think why he had to suffer for three days when ‘ALL THE GOVERNMENTS’ in the country are so concerned about their state. Or all concern of the governments is just for the sake of a TV interview?