Ramu Ghormare pulls his wife and child on a cart in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh (L), Policemen offer the family b…Read More
BHOPAL/HYDERABAD: For 17 days and nights, a migrant worker wheeled his pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter on a cart he had made with his own hands, all 800km from Hyderabad to MP’s Balaghat district. The family made the journey on only one decent meal, a few biscuits from strangers’ kindness, and their sheer grit.
Policemen stopped the braveheart for screening at Rajegaon area in Balaghat, just across the Maharashtra border on Tuesday evening. Moved by his story, they gave food and water to the family, and footwear for the barefoot child, and arranged for a private vehicle to take them home.
Videos of Ramu Ghormare pulling his wife Dhanwanta and daughter Anuragini on a cart went viral on Thursday, a day after footage of an Indorean yoking himself to a cart to carry his family back from Mhow triggered outrage and calls for more help to migrants. Ramu, a resident of Kudemoh village in Maoist-affected Balaghat, is among 86,000 migrant workers who have returned to the district in the past week.
He lost his job at a construction site in Hyderabad in the lockdown and reached a point where he couldn’t arrange two rotis for the family. “We decided there was no way but to go back home,” he said. But there was a big hitch — his wife was eight months pregnant and he couldn’t have her walk hundreds of kilometres in this scorching heat.
“We had no money to even get on a truck. So, I decided to make a cart. I used broken pipes, bits of plastic and plastic ropes that I found at a construction site to build one. And we set off,” he told local mediapersons. It took him two weeks to arrive at the MP border. It was at Rajegaon that the administration arranged for a taxi to take them home. Local mediapersons located his house in a forest village, some 20km from the district headquarters, only to realise that the family’s ordeal was far from over. “We found his wife and daughter sitting outside. There was nothing inside their house, not even a box. Just a cot and some broken utensils. His wife told me that Ramu has gone into the jungle to collect firewood,” local journalist Hiten Chouhan said. The cart that brought them home lay outside.
Ramu’s superhuman effort to bring his family home stunned many. “If labourers like him have to struggle like this to reach their home after toiling for months to build our houses and factories, I am ashamed to call myself an Indian,” tweeted N Manivasaham.