Here's another tale of herculean endeavor by yet another migrant—this time it is middle-aged Govind Mandal who carried his wife and son on his rickshaw from Delhi to Deoghar, paddling for nearly 1,350 km for a fortnight, proving the adage "where there is will there is way."
Mandal a resident of Malda district of West Bengal, was thrown out of his job as a motor mechanic by his employer in a New Delhi garage. When lockdown was imposed, he was removed from job and handed Rs 16,000.
After managing for days in the national capital amid the Covid-induced lockdown, when he had just Rs 5,000 left with him, he decided to return home.
With wife and a baby in tow, Mandal decided to purchase a second-hand cycle rickshaw that cost him Rs 4,800. He reached Jharkhand's Deoghar district on Tuesday. Starting the journey with just a few hundred was foolhardy. By the time he reached Deoghar his family was famished, his only transport was punctured and he himself was half-dead with exhaustion.
He decided to stop at a government-run community kitchen run where he satiated his and his family's hunger.
Remembering the horrible journey, Mandal said: "My rickshaw got punctured after I travelled few kilometres only. I got the puncture repaired at cost of Rs 140 and I left with only Rs 60. I was later caught by Uttar Pradesh Police. I narrated my story to UP police, who showed kindness and gave me a gas cylinder fitted with stove".
He said: "I have travelled almost 1,350 Km in last 15 days. It was tough, all we could feel was hunger. When I reached Deoghar, came to know about community kitchen. I went to community and ate meal with wife and my three and half year old son."
He plans to cover the rest of the distance in the coming days..