No seats on bus, train; migrant workers return to Surat on flight

Surat: It was my first air journey, said an excited Satish Soni, a migrant worker who returned to Gujarat’s Surat to join his job back. As he was not getting bus or train tickets, his employer booked him a flight ticket to Surat.

With unlock, the migrant workers, who had gone back to their native places — mostly in West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar — during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, have now started returning to Surat. But they are facing one problem — unavailability of train tickets from their states.

Meanwhile, the businessmen in Surat are facing difficulties due to shortage of workers in the city and so they have decided to call their employees back via flights.

Migrant workers like Soni are happy that now they will be able to work again, even as some of them will have to repay the cost of the flight ticket.

“Our employer called us back. So we have come back here to work. He paid for my flight ticket, but I will have to repay the amount to him after some time,” said Tail.

Some, on the other hand, have managed to buy the flight tickets themselves.

“I used to work in the embroidery sector. During the lockdown, I faced a lot of problems. Our employer helped us as much as he could, but I returned home when the special trains started. Now as the lockdown has been lifted, my employer asked me to return; so I borrowed some money and booked a flight ticket,” said Mohammed Naushad Ali Shaikh.

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