Bitter home truths for migrant workers -Sayantan Bera
* Trying to start a new life is turning out to be difficult due to a collapse in demand. A ground report from Bihar.
* Consumption of drugs has spiked to dangerous levels. So much so that cough syrup brands, sedative drugs like Netravet and an adhesive named Sunfix are household names
ARARIA/ NEW DELHI: Bergachi Chowk is a busy intersection, a short ride away from Araria town in northern Bihar, an impoverished hub of distress migration. Last summer, hundreds of thousands made an arduous journey back to their homes in this district on the India-Nepal border after India announced a stringent lockdown to control the spread of covid-19.
Mohammed Imran, 39, is one of the 10 million migrants who returned to their homes across India, as per an official estimate. On clear mornings, Imran can spot the mighty Himalayas from a distance, but in Araria there is little else to look forward to. The district is overwhelmingly rural; it is also among the most impoverished in India with extremely low levels of literacy (55%).
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Livemint.com, 24 February, 2021, https://www.livemint.com/news/india/bitter-home-truths-for-migrant-workers-11614091925361.html