Drained by the scorching summer sun, Indian migrant workers take shade while their bags stand in endless queues, as they wait in hopes of returning home.
Pictures of packed luggage near train stations and assembly points have been going viral online, highlighting the issues the labourers are facing and their growing struggles.
On May 20, Journalist Anup Pandey, @AnoopNbt, shared several images on Twitter and wrote: “These bags that wait in a long queue in the sun, are waiting to reach their villages. The owners of these bags are exhausted and almost lifeless. So lifeless that they have packed their messages, tears and pain in these bags and they have submitted themselves to the system. Let’s see if these bags reach their destination with the owners or not...”
It is unclear which part of India the pictures are from, while it is being debated by online users that they were taken in Delhi.
Similar images and a video from Chennai were also shared by Twitter user @srini091, who asked people to support the workers as they wait: “Chennai: Many guest/migrant workers waiting on bridge opposite Chennai Central railway station in the scorching heat, hoping for their trains. Many cops are around as well. I plan to take dry food/buttermilk/water in bags and give them today/tomorrow. Chennai people do what you can.”
A May 19 report by an Indian English-language daily stated that hundreds of workers in Maharashtra’s Kharghar area also lined up, waiting for the police to take them to Panvel railway station in order to go to Patna, in Bihar.
The report also states that many have returned to the spot as much as three days in a row in hopes of getting a seat on the Shramik special trains, transport organised by the government for migrant workers, but the process is slow.
The workers put their bags on the ground to lean or sit on them or get some shelter, as they rest on the road during the hot summer.