Chennai: They were anxious to return home after being stuck here with no work due to COVID-19 lockdown. The seven migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh finally got a lifeline in the form of their employer. The migrant workers managed to board a flight Monday for the first time in their lives from here and they reached Varanasi. The humanitarian gesture of their employer helped workers reach home. They were all working in a packers and movers company.
It was a refreshing change from the tales of woe usually associated with migrant workers returning home on foot and other modes of transport. The seven, in the age group of 23-37, took the Indigo flight with their boss giving them a send-off.
“Our boss took good care of us as though we are his family members. He provided us atta, dhal and other essentials to help us cook our own food during the lockdown. He even disbursed us our salaries,” Sanjay Kumar, one of the workers said after landing in Varanasi.
Sandeep Jain, who runs the ‘Jain Packers and Movers’, a four-year old start-up firm, also sent home three other workers by train.
“They had worked for my success. So I find nothing wrong in spending some money to help them reach homes in this hour of crisis,” Jain said. He added that his workers travelled by flight for the first time in their life.
All the seven, who took the flight, hailed from Prayagraj district in Uttar Pradesh. Along with others they were provided free accommodation and food by Jain.
All expenses paid
Salaries were paid for two months during the lockdown period. The entire cost, including accommodation, food and tickets, worked out to about Rs 4,00,000, Jain informed.
“The lockdown had totally restricted them indoors for over two months. TV news on the coronavirus pandemic made them anxious about their family members. My workers expressed the desire to return home. So I helped them out,” said Jain.
Immediately he agreed and booked them flight tickets on Indigo Airlines for June 1. He personally saw them off at the airport here Monday.
“With no work here and coronavirus causing panic, they wanted to go home. When the government opened up the aviation sector, I booked the tickets,” Jain added.
The workers have promised to return once the COVID-19 situation improves. After reaching Varanasi in the afternoon, they also called up Jain and thanked him.