‘Will Die Hungry’: Migrant Who Walked Home in 2020 Fears Lockdown

A cab driver who walked 280 km in 2020 shares his fears as the second wave of COVID-19 cripples India.

Published
COVID-19
1 min read

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya

“I will have no option but to walk back home again,” laments 25-year-old Amit Shekhar, as one state after another announces measures that take after last year’s lockdown.

Employed as a cab driver, Shekhar had to walk for more than two days from Ghaziabad to Etawah, covering a distance of nearly 280 kilometres, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown in March 2020.

He had returned to Ghaziabad in late Match 2021, hoping to repay the debt of Rs 3 lakhs, that he had borrowed after his mother was diagnosed with cancer late last year.

“I am really scared. If there’s a lockdown like before how will we go back home? If we go back home then lenders will ask for money. We don’t get any work at our village or elsewhere. I have taken so much of money for treatment, how will I pay it back? If lockdown is imposed again, we will die of hunger.”
Amit Shekhar

Shekhar, who got no food and little water during his 2020, journey, is not afraid of what he may face on the road. Having sold most of his belongings last year, Shekhar had nothing but a gas cylinder, a flimsy mattress and some utensils in his possession this time.

When asked if he’s scared of contracting the virus, the cab driver says “I don’t know about coronavirus. But if there’s complete lockdown, we will certainly die of hunger.”

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