A man wearing protective suit checks the temperature of people standing in a queue to get free food at IYC headquarters, during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, in New Delhi
Migrant workers fled India’s cities en masse last month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lockdown left them unemployed. Now the employers that let them go may need to offer big incentives to lure them back.
Sontosh Das, 24, lost his job driving for a family of doctors in New Delhi and fled to his village in West Bengal some 1,400 kilometres away, just before the lockdown took effect on March 24. Now home in eastern India, he said he’d rather try his luck with the government’s rural job-guarantee programme than risk being left with nothing once again.
“After Modi ji’s lockdown, we’re scared of returning,” Das said over a crackling phone line. “During tough times, only family comes to help.”
First Published: Apr 17 2020 | 12:52 AM IST