Lack of work and dwindling finances coupled with "indequate supply" of food made life so miserable for a group of around 100 migrant workers in Kerala that they took the extreme step of setting out on a long march on foot back home thousands of kilometers away.
Carrying water cans and some of their belongings, the workers, from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, started walking along railway tracks from nearby Vallapatnam, home to many plywood based industries, on the ardous journey early on Tuesday.
"We want to go back to our home states. Food was being served only once a day and we have no money. There is no work here," workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh rued in chorus after being spotted by Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel and taken to camps.
The workers complained that they were not getting adequate food at the camps and the government was not arranging any trains to help them return to their homes.
Some labourers alleged they were getting only 2 kg wheat for a family of four for a week and sought to know how they would be able to manage.
"We want to go home. We are even prepared to walk," Sushil Kumar said.
The workers were stopped by the police, who pacified them and sent them back to their camps in three KSRTC buses.
Meanwhile, the district officials said the complaints made by the workers would be looked into.
Till May 15, a total of 33,000 guest workers have left Kerala by 29 trains to their home states.
The Centre has last week asked the state governments to provide food and shelter to migrant workers if they are found walking on roads and railways tracks, and ensure they board special trains to reach their native places.