Hometown: Bansa, Uttar Pradesh
Occupation: Shop Helper
Returned from: Vadodara, Gujarat
Hariram worked as a mason worker in Bansa, Uttar Pradesh before moving to Vadodra for higher waged labour work. The news of the pandemic took him by surprise. It was after waiting for almost a month without any income, Hariram made the journey to U.P.
Interviewer: How did the lockdown affect your life? Describe your routine in the following days.
Hariram: I was living with my son’s family and my nine-year-old child in Vadodara, Gujarat. I worked at a shop along with my son. There was no relevant source of information, nevertheless – I heard about the virus when people around me were impacted by it two months ago. Either they were in a difficult circumstance, or they were dying from the virus. To protect oneself – I stayed at home and took all the precautionary measures shared.
All of a sudden – all shops were closed. That is when the information was shared in abundance by the locals there. It was evident – the work would not resume in the next month. On 11th May, the five of us decided to return home. We filled a form, boarded the bus to the railway station, were checked at the camp, and finally left on the train.
We reached the village and stayed alone in the school – the only available quarantining facility at the time, and the food came from home instead of the quarantining facility. Regardless, I will have to return once work restarts. What will we eat if I do not go back? I have no land or any other assets. Our only source of income is labour.