corona migrant workers

Dear Dad,

I am glad you did not live to see these.


You died.


Died before you saw

them collapse by the roadside.


Gandhi called them his friend.

And so did you.


Why did God not have mercy on them?


Why is it they have no food?

No water, no shoes?

Why is it they have no home

in the place they work to call their own?


Why did they not have a home and food?

Why were there no labour laws to fulfill their basic needs —

Food, Potable Water, Home and School?

Safety rules?


Why is it that Only Now, shame and guilt bows our heads?


And yet, yet no one asked,

asked before the Exodus,

why they have no homes – no questions asked for more than half a century —

till the death layer of the sun threatened to silence all Mankind?


Are they not Human? Not a part of Mankind?


Why is it we point fingers but cannot take a stand?

Why is it we never asked while they laboured on our land,


Who will give them shelter? A future for their children —


Now swallowed by the virulence of the virus,

Or, is it Starvation’s hungry mouth?

Or was it Exhaustion? Lack of Water? Dehydration?



I am glad you are dead.

Or, your heart would have bled

Till you died.


It is a mercy you are spared this sight.


— With love from your daughter


Mitali Chakravarty is a writer and the founding editor of



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  1. S k Basu says:

    The exodus was because of dirty game played by the chief minister of Delhi. Everything was going alright. Many incentive s were announced and implemented by our beloved prime minister. People were obeying every order. Many organisations including All the Gurdwaras of Delhi, Ramakrishna mission, many vol.organisations and many govt agencies were providing food. Aam party workers, for their own vested interests, made announcement at slum areas inhabited by migrant labourers and daily wedge earners and misguided them. Hence the exodus. Delhi govt is exposed for its dirty politics and misdeeds. 4 of the IAS officers have been suspended by order of central govt.home ministry.

    • Mitali Chakravarty says:

      And we have no responsibility?
      That over the last nearly 75 years of independence they continue to live in penury and their children and ours have nothing in common — they can’t even play together — their children do not get the schooling ours get: that gov schools do not function: that there is not adequate healthcare or housing for them: that they are allowed to sleep in drainpipes and pavements: that they do not have access to potable water or sanitation the way you and I have — all that can be settled by criticising and punishing four corrupt officials is an amazing miracle that can happen only in the mind of an Indian! Can you not see the discrepancy and double standards?