While the government in India has been strongly criticised for mishandling migrant workers amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, a video showing Mumbai Police personnel helping labourers board a train has earned the officials appreciation.
The official Twitter account of ‘Khaana Chahiye’, a “citizen initiative” as they describe themselves, shared the clip with the caption: “As the last train to West Bengal left, a group got left behind as they arrived late. Mumbai Police team ran behind the train to stop it and citizen volunteers from three teams raced across the platform with the passengers luggage. Did they make it?”
In the clip, several labourers, volunteers and policemen are seen running, trying to stop the Shramik special train. Once the train slows down, the group breaks into applause. The workers then shout slogans: “Long live Mumbai police!”
Since being shared, the video has gathered over 20,100 views and numerous comments. The post by Khaana Chahiye is a part of a thread, which includes other videos of officials and volunteers helping poor labourers return home.
Replying to the clip, user @sayantansunnyg tweeted: “Everybody is so tired, and everybody just wants to go home. These little incidents help keep that hope alive. That one day, we'll all be home.”
Another tweep, @RifatJawaid, appreciated the police’s effort and wrote: “Super stuff @MumbaiPolice!”
Thousands of migrant workers are currently making their way home from cities across India. However, the process has not been smooth.
Many stories of the labourers being killed, starved and walking without basic necessities have emerged and the Indian government has been widely criticised for mismanagement during the COVID-19 lockdown.
On May 1, the Indian government launched Shramik special trains to transport migrant workers who were stranded. However, reports of the trains being late, misdirected and lacking food have emerged.
An alarming study by the India’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) has shown that around 80 people have died, onboard these trains, between May 9 and May 27.