Lakhs of migrant workers and people are still stuck in many places across the country due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
50-year-old Pabita Biswas, a feriwala from Kolkata in West Bengal who sells silk sarees, is stuck in Guwahati since the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pabitra Biswas and eight others from West Bengal had come to Assam before lockdown to sell silk sarees and they took some rooms at a lodge in Guwahati on rent.
Pabitra Biswas said that they came to Guwahati on March 13 and they had visited adjoining areas of Guwahati to sell their products. Pabitra and others are now stuck in Guwahati with no money and food.
“We took some rooms at Amar Lodge located at Paltan Bazar area in Guwahati on rent when we reached here. But, we are now facing many difficulties. Our hotel rooms rent has gone much higher. In past two months, we are stuck in hotel rooms only. We have no money to buy food items. The hotel owner asked us to pay something as rooms rent, but we are now totally helpless,” Pabitra Biswas said.
He further said that he called a minister of the West Bengal government several times for help. However, the Bengal minister did not respond.
Pabitra said no help has been extended to them by the Mamata Banerjee government amid coronavirus crisis.
“During the election time, they reach out to us only for vote. Now, what we will do. Will we die here? Mamata Banerjee said that they will bring all the people from West Bengal who are stranded in other states. But they are not doing. They only know our votes,” Pabitra Biswas said.
48-year-old Harajan Sarkar from Nadia district of West Bengal, another migrant worker stranded in Guwahati along with Pabitra Biswas in the same hotel, said they are living on “biscuits” for the past few days with no money and work.
“We are now struggling to live. In last three days we are only eating biscuits. Our hotel rooms rent is now increasing day by day and it has touched around Rs 80,000-85,000. The hotel owner has given us 50 percent discount. But, we have no money to pay this also,” Harajan Sarkar said.
Another member of the team, Bappa Pain said they even visited a nearby police station in Guwahati but no help was provided to them.
“Now no money in our pockets, our food items is also finished. We had gone to nearby police station for seeking help, but they didn’t help us,” Bappa Pain said.
They have now requested both Assam and West Bengal government to help them.
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