NEW DELHI – Around eighty people died between May 9 and May 27 on Shramik Special trains meant to ferry migrant workers home, according to Railways officials.
One of them was a coronavirus victim, and eleven others died from co-morbidities.
Ten people died on May 23, nine each on May 24 and May 25, eight on May 27 and 13 on May 26.
The passengers have complained that they are not getting water and food on the train which became prime reasons for the deteriorating health and deaths. Congress has demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Piyush Goel for his mishandling of train services which caused deaths.
The plight of migrant workers stranded by Modi government’s crippling Coronavirus lockdown — and often forced to walk long distances to reach their hometowns — has emerged as a major humanitarian crisis during the pandemic.
One of the many heartbreaking images that capture the scale of the crisis comes from a recent video of a child trying to wake up his dead mother at the Muzaffarpur railway station. She was travelling in a Shramik train.
The special trains were launched on May 1; they have already ferried lakhs home.
States like Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha have reported significant rises in coronavirus cases amid the large-scale return of migrants.
India’s total case count has crossed 1.73 lakh, a number that includes over 4,900 deaths, according to central government data.
Over 82,000 have recovered.