On Thursday a farmer in Delhi sent ten of his staff home on a flight to Bihar, their home state. Pappan Gehlot, a mushroom farmer, paid for his flight tickets because for the last 20 years the migrant workers have worked for him.
"We tried to book tickets for the trains but couldn't. So we thought these people worked with us for more than 20 years, their journey should be free. So we had them evaluated medically and arranged flight tickets for them, "Pappu 's brother Niranjan Gehlot told ANI.
The staff had said that their wish has come true. "I never thought I'm going to be sitting in an aircraft, our employer made arrangements for us," one of the staff said as he arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday to board the 6 am flight to Patna.
The staff said they couldn't believe they were heading to their villages in Samastipur-not walking or cycling thousands of kilometres, or scrambling on a bus or train for a seat like thousands of migrant workers-but they are going home on an aeroplane.
Another staff member Lakhinder Ram, who will be back with his son, spoke to PTI: "I've never dreamed in my life that I'm going to be on a plane. I have no words to express my gladness. But I'm also a little bit nervous about what I'm going to do when we get to the airport tomorrow".
Ram, 50, who has worked for Gehlot for 27 years, said the farmer has looked after their food and housing since the lockdown began on March 25.
Gehlot has a mushroom farm in the village of Tigipur in Delhi. He purchased the tickets worth Rs 68,000 and also gave Rs 3,000 to every worker, so they don't face any problems when they enter their home state.
Gehlot has been involved in mushroom farming since 1993. During the first week of April, these workers tried to go to their village but could not because of the lockdown.