Amid the coronavirus outbreak and consequent lockdown, thousands of migrants had been stranded in various parts of the country. Left without jobs or any discernible way to sustain themselves, many have attempted to return home by whatever means possible.
Many have walked hundreds of kilometers to reach home, and some unfortunately have passed away. There have also been a spate of accidents that these hapless individuals have been victims of. But while each of these incidents are horrific in their own right, people have continued to persevere.
On Tuesday, a rather heartbreaking incident came to light. Three labourers from West Bengal's Murshidabad who have been without any income since the lockdown went into place over two months ago have been trying repeatedly to return home. They had been stranded in Mumbai.
According to a post by a Times of India journalist, the three had been unable to book train tickets despite repeated attempts. Their family had then stepped in, selling cattle to raise the money for flight tickets. They had booked three IndiGo flights, paying Rs 30,600 for the Mumbai-Kolkata May 25 tickets.
But with flight services slated to resume from May 28 in West Bengal, their flight was cancelled, and no refund was immediately available.
While a limited number of flights have begun operating from Maharashtra, flight serivces to and from West Bengal will only resume from May 28, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had informed on Monday.
There has been an outpouring of support and sympathy for the stranded trio. In response to the post, IndiGo had reached out to the journalist, commenting that the carrier would reach out to them, and would be "accomodating them on the next available flight or providing them with a full refund".
A later post by the domestic carrier said that while IndiGo had offered to re-book them on the first flight on May 28, they had opted to travel on June 1.
"We have accommodated their travel plans at no additional charge," an executive from the carrier assured.