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Last Journey: Migrant Worker Dies after Walking for Miles to Reach Home in TN amid Lockdown​

By: Rishika Sadam

CNN-News18

Last Updated: April 04, 2020, 07:34 IST

File photo of migrant workers walking along a highway in Uttar Pradesh with family members to return to their village during a 21-day nationwide lockdown. (Reuters)

File photo of migrant workers walking along a highway in Uttar Pradesh with family members to return to their village during a 21-day nationwide lockdown. (Reuters)

After walking for about 500km with his friends, the 23-year-old man died at a shelter home in Telangana on Wednesday night.

Hyderabad: When a 23-year-old migrant worker began his journey back home like many others struggling to find food, source of income and shelter, little did he know it would be his last one.

Days after the nationwide lockdown was imposed, Bala Subramani Logesh decided to walk back with 26 others to his home in Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district from Wardha in Maharashtra.

After covering a distance of about 500km with his friends four days ago, he died at a shelter home in Telangana on Wednesday night.

Most of them, including Logesh, were also studying at the Government Agriculture Polytechnic College at Hinganghat in Wardha district.

The nationwide lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, has left thousands of poor people, mainly migrant workers, crippled and is forcing them to make strenuous journeys back home.

Logesh and his group were spotted by the Telangana Police on Wednesday and taken to the home where about 180 people have taken refuge.

“We were all very tired. We did not have any feeling left in our legs, but we wanted to go home. We took breaks, rested a little and continued walking. Truck drivers also helped us to a certain extent -- they gave us lifts,” another migrant worker Dinesh told News18.

On Wednesday night, Logesh collapsed in the shelter and passes away. According to a local police report, he had died allegedly due to “cardiac arrest”. The body was later sent for autopsy.

The incident left the entire group in shock. “He did not have any serious health condition. We were all tired because of walking hundreds of kilometers. He died in front of us. We just want to go home. How many days do we stay like this? Please arrange a vehicle for us,” a visibly worried Ayub said.

“They’re all panicking after what happened on Wednesday. We counselled them for hours, gave them food and shelter. Their medical examination is also being done. They’re feeling slightly better now,” Harish Daga, an activist, told News18.

With lockdown in place, it was initially decided that one of Logesh’s friends would perform his final rites at a crematorium in Hyderabad.

However, a few activists reached out to the state government and Union Home Ministry following which the body was sent home on Friday. Daga said Logesh’s family deserved to give their son a proper funeral and one last closure.

The Secunderabad zonal commissioner and local police have arranged for an ambulance to take the youth’s body to Namakkal. Four others from the group are going along in the ambulance.
first published:April 03, 2020, 22:17 IST
last updated:April 04, 2020, 07:34 IST