New Delhi: We will die of hunger before any disease if we stay here. There is no one to even take care of our cremation,” says migrant worker Savitri, who set on foot for her home in UP’s Kannauj district amid the coronavirus lockdown even though her destination is over 400 km away.

Savitri (30), who lived in a slum in Rajouri Garden area, had no option but to undertake the arduous trek as the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic left her jobless and with no means to arrange food for her two small children.

“People are talking about the danger of some virus which can kill all of us. I don’t understand all these. As a mother, I am pained when I cannot feed my children.

No one is there to help. All are equally worried about their lives,” Savitri told PTI as she walked along the Mathura Highway Road with her belongings on her head.

She is among lakhs of migrant labourers who have only one goal ahead: reach their villages at the earliest, come what may. Though the Delhi and UP governments have arranged buses to ferry the stranded, many have chosen to walk along.

The few buses arranged were completely crammed with many people sitting atop them too. The panicked workers are rushing to their native places even though shelters are being set up for them in the national capital to stop the mass exodus.

For these workers, the stress of lockdown has overtaken the fear of the disease they are not taking preventive steps like social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.

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