GUWAHATI, May 17 - They had left their homes with a dream to earn a handsome amount per month which could give them a hardship-free lifestyle. But the COVID-19 induced lockdown shattered their dreams and brought in untold miseries to their lives.
Unable to endure the prolonged agony, they have now begun a long walk back to their native land from as far as Pune.
These five youths - Krishna Kumar Roy from Dhubri, Papu Deka from Udalguri, Nilotpal Deka and Mintu Deka from Darrang and Sanjib Das from Lakhimpur district � are pathetic examples of how a section of Assamese people, working outside the State, are suffering immense hardship due to the lockdown.
All of them were working in private entities at Pune. After they did not receive any response from both the Assam and Maharashtra government, they started their journey towards Assam on foot three days ago.
The group, in conversation with The Assam Tribune over phone, informed that first they arrived in Mumbai and sought help from Mumbai police, but no one responded. Then they again resumed walking and on Sunday morning reached Nashik and taking shelter below an under-construction bridge, where they met another group of Assamese youths.
�I worked as a security guard at Pune. With the beginning of lockdown, my source of income was also over. As we could not pay the rent, so ultimately we had to vacate our rented houses and started walking. Now at any cost we want to reach our homes, because the situation in Maharashtra is totally out of control,� Krishna Kumar Roy said.
Elaborating on the journey, Roy said that on their way they have met many groups of people like them who were also walking towards their homes with empty pocket and stomach.
�Now we don�t have a penny to buy food and we are totally dependent on the food distributed by some NGOs along the highways,� they lamented.
The group alleged that they even did not get any positive response from the helpline number launched by the Assam Government to bring back stranded people from outside the State.
�We cannot explain the pain that we are bearing. Fortunately, we are physically fit till today and hopeful of reaching home safely one day,� one of them said.