Assam’s Jadav Gogoi started his journey from Gujarat on March 27 Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: Desperate to be home amid the COVID-19 lockdown, a 45-year-old from Assam, who works as a migrant worker in Gujarat, took the path less trodden by walking and hitchhiking his way from Vapi to reach his home in Nagaon.

Jadav Gogoi, who hails from Gadharia Karaoini village of Nagaon, has been walking and hitchhiking in trucks (for some, he needed to pay an amount as fare) from the industrial town of Vapi in Gujarat where he works as a migrant laborer. According to Gogoi, he started his journey from March 27 by dodging police officials in every step of his way.

On being questioned, Gogoi said that although he asked for help from the government, he did not get any. Hence, he took the momentous decision to traverse the journey on foot.

His journey might seem like an epic but was not without its fair share of troubles. Starting with only Rs 4,000 in hand, he was robbed of his essentials on the road by miscreants. This included his mobile phone along with his money.

The lockdown has been disproportionately hard on certain sections of the society. This includes migrant workers and daily wage laborers. Even though the government of Assam has set up helpline numbers to cater to the needs of such migrant workers who are residing out of their state, many calls remain unanswered which may be due to the sheer number of the migrant population.

Gogoi had to walk the last leg of more than 1,000 km from Bihar to Nagaon on foot. This took a heavy toll on the man’s health as he was barely able to stand up but luckily was able to call his family back home from a local who took pity on him as he reached Raha. The locals then called the police authorities and they questioned him about his ordeal. It was there that members of Asom Jatiatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) rescued him and subsequently admitted him to Bhogeswari Phukanani Civil Hospital in Nagaon.

The doctors updated his condition to be stable as of now, however, Gogoi will have to go through strict quarantine as he came back from another state. A sample of his swab has already been sent to a laboratory for COVID-19 test.

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