Hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers are fleeing Delhi as nationwide lockdown has left them homeless and jobless. With businesses shut down in cities across the country, vast numbers of migrants, many of whom lived and ate where they worked were suddenly without food and shelter.
Few transport options are currently available – migrants, mostly young male day labourers but also families, have resorted to commuting on foot during the 21-day lockdown that started on Wednesday. Many have been met with police resistance and brutality as they approached the Delhi border.
Only one of India’s States, Uttar Pradesh, has made arrangements to bring migrants home, commissioning about 1,000 buses. PM Modi has been deeply criticised over a lack of adequate planning ahead of the decision.