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Journalist gives his shoes to the barefoot migrant, gets appreciated over Social Media

The lockdown has caused a lot of grievances to the general public and businesses. However, the segment of the population who have suffered the most are migrant workers who have been forced to walk to their home villages.

“Suffering migrants”

Graphic pictures of migrants walking kilometres everyday surfaced on the internet as reporters try to capture the saddening stories of these workers. Reporters have been consistently covering the stories of this group who had started their journey almost 2 months ago with the
beginning of the first phase of the lockdown.

Forced out of their home due no work and inability to earn a livelihood, thousands had to make their way back to their home villages on foot because of the lack of transport.

“Journalist gives shoes to the barefooted worker”

Several incidents have surfaced on social media which showcase the dire state of these workers who walk hours and kilometres a day to make it to their homes. Often these stories are covered by reporters working day and night.

One such journalist for BBC named Salman Ravi was reporting on the journey of a few of the migrants when he couldn’t bear to see one of the workers walk barefoot and offered him his own shoes.

The journalist was said to have been speaking to some workers who were making the journey from Ambala and had managed to have reached Delhi. When he asked one of them with a baby in his arms why he was walking barefoot, he was told that the worker’s slippers had broken. He then paused for a moment and proceeded to offer him his shoes.

“Gesture applauded”

This act of humanity flooded the internet as several personalities and other journalists applauded this gesture. Social media sites Twitter and Instagram had several posts regarding the same applauding the humanity shown by Salman Ravi.

The psychological impact of the watching and covering these stories upfront has left a deep impact on the reporters who have been effortlessly working in the field to present the harsh realities of the lockdown on the poorest of the population.

“Unplanned lockdown and insensitive reactions”

The unplanned manner of the lockdowns and the scarce transport available to these migrant workers has caused a huge uproar amongst the public.

Even the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government in the case where the migrant workers died on railway tracks being victims of exhaustion and a train accident. This incident led to a lot of criticism on social media hailing the workers responsible for the incident, ignoring the exhaustion they suffered or the effects of the Vishakapatnam gas leak on those who died.

The inability of the government to handle the huge issue of migration caused by the lockdown highlights the insensitive manner in which the authorities have dealt with the pandemic in India.

Several people had hoped that the new economic COVID-19 package would have provisions for proper transport of these people to their homes. However, this concern was not addressed in Modi’s speech.

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