DHUBRI, April 26 - 94 members, including children, women and elderly persons of a nomadic group, which calls itself Baidhyas are stuck at the Chandakhol area under Dhubri PS due to nationwide lockdown.
This group came to Dhubri district in the first week of January this year and visited various places here and finally when they reached Chandakhol area in the month of March, the lockdown was announced. Since then they have been staying in an open field under tents. The group contains 27 families with more than 20 children and 27 women along with a few elderly persons.
The elderly people informed that they are from various villages under North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal and they came to Assam to do business. These people settle in one place and then roam around the nearby places by selling ornamental stones and showing various magic tricks. �We came to Dhubri district almost four months ago and just when we were about to leave Dhubri, the lockdown was announced and since then we along with our families are living in this deplorable condition in this open field�, said Ranjit Maal, the sardar of the group.
He informed that they have already exhausted all their income in this period and now their condition is pathetic. �Most of the women in our group have already sold off their jewellery to the nearby villagers, to get money for survival� added Maal. He added that the boys have sold off their phones, so that the families could survive.
However, Maal said that they don�t want to return to their native place, but only want the State to facilitate them with proper food and a hygienic place to live in. �Even if we are transported to our home district, the administration there will not take us, as we have been staying so long in a red zone district�, Maal said, adding, �it�s better to live together here rather than going to quarantine centres in West Bengal�.
It was informed that the villagers are helping them and the administration has also provided them rations. They also said that the police team under the supervision of DSP Trinayan Bhuyan is currently providing them rations. �But, the rations we are getting is not enough. We are left with no money, to buy vegetables and other essential commodities�, Maal said.
They also informed that another group of 50 people are stuck similarly at Balajan in the district.