60- member group's effort to return to Kerala would bring tears into your eyes
Thrissur: They understand that all these struggles are part of an uncompromising fight against the pandemic. They don’t even want to raise allegations against the kind of pain and struggle that they had to go through. Yet, those of us who are not even willing to stay at home during times should be aware of the depth of suffering of these group of Keralites.
A private company in Maharashtra announced it was closing down just before Janata curfew was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They said that the employees can return home. All 60 Keralites decided to return to the state after they learned that Section 144 was going to be imposed there. And they left Maharashtra hours before Janata curfew began, leaving much of their belongings behind. The group shared with Mathrubhumi the journey they will never be able to forget.
The group was surrounded by police as soon as they reached the railway station. It was the police’s responsibility to ensure that they left the state. They were not even allowed to go and buy the tickets as police did not want anybody to go missing. As soon as the train to Chennai arrived, police seated all of them in the general compartment. They even stood in front of the compartment's door until the train started moving.
Nobody approached them asking for tickets. They decided to alight at Vijayawada as soon as they realised that the train would only go till Chennai.
The railway police chased them as they alighted at the station. They spent the entire night on the streets like thieves, without getting into the sight of anyone. The next day morning, they got into Vivek Express as soon as it arrived at the station. There were only a few people in the train. They did not speak much after getting in, except that they were hungry. Then the train stopped at a station that had plenty of drinking water they drank as much water as they could.
All 60 of them are currently under observation at a building in Thrissur’s Mulankunnathukavu, without knowing when they would return to their homes.Yet, they say that all this is part of the fight against the great pandemic.