Sheikh Mirajul, 34, Construction worker, West Bengal.
Of the 209 km between Kolkata and his hometown Rejinagar in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, Sheikh Mirajul covered around 40 km on foot.
After a lockdown was implemented in the state, Mirajul and 12 of his co-workers were evicted from their accommodation in Dum Dum. They walked 18 km to Sealdah railway station only to find that the trains had shut down operations and had to resort to booking an ambulance (at Rs 2,000 per person), to take them a distance of 122 km. We reached Nadia around 10.30 pm on March 24.
The ambulance dropped us on the highway. It was dark. There was not a single vehicle and our mobile phones had run out of charge. We kept lighting matches to read the signboards, says Mirajul. It was past midnight when we reached Palassey, 20 km still from home.
The last leg of the journey was the hardest. Tired, with our swollen and bruised legs, we literally dragged ourselves, lest police sent us to jail, he says.
Fearing harassment from the police for having migrated home in the times of a lockdown, Mirajul doesn’t want to be photographed (his family sits for a picture instead). Can you ensure my safety? Or even financial assistance? he asks.