A mushroom farmer based in Delhi, Pappan Gehlot booked flight tickets of at least 10 migrants from Bihar to send them back home.
Delhi farmer books flight tickets for migrants: As migrants stuck in the midst of the Coronavirus-induced lockdown struggle to find their way back home, stories of kindness and compassion towards those in need have also emerged to offer a glimmer of hope. While some migrants have been lucky to secure passes of Shramik Special trains, many are finding it difficult to overcome the crisis and are making arrangements on their own to cover hundreds of kms in the scorching heat.
Ten such migrants who were struggling to return to their native place in Bihar found no less than a messiah in Pappan Gehlot. A mushroom farmer based in Delhi, Pappan funded flight tickets of at least 10 migrants from Bihar to send them back home.
According to news agency ANI, ten migrant workers hailing from Bihar’s Samastipur boarded a Patna-bound flight from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Thursday morning. These migrants were stranded in the national capital for more than two months due to lockdown announced by the government.
It said that the tickets of these migrants were paid by their employer Pappan Gehlot, a mushroom farmer. Pappan spent around Rs 68,000 to book tickets for the migrants and gave each of them Rs 3,000 in cash.
Migrants said they cannot believe that they are going to their villages in Samastipur not walking or cycling or scrambling for a seat on a bus or train, but on a plane.
“I had never thought I would get to sit in an aeroplane, our employer made the arrangements for us,” one of the workers told ANI just before boarding the flight.
The migrants were also dropped off at the airport in vehicles arranged by their employer. Pappan’s brother Niranjan Gehlot who came to see off these migrants, said that all the workers were medically examined and their fitness certificates were obtained before booking their flight tickets.
Niranjan said he tried to book train tickets but was unable to do that.
“Then we thought these people have been working with us for over 20 years, their journey should be safe, so we got them medically examined and arranged flight tickets for them,” he said.
Pappan has a mushroom farm in Tigipur village of Delhi. Pappan said he has been doing mushroom farming since 1993. He said these workers wanted to go to their village in the first week of April, but couldn’t because of the lockdown.
“These 10 workers would have left for their homes in Bihar in the first week of April on the train but they could not go due to the lockdown,” Pappan said, adding that he made several attempts to send them back in a Shramik Special train but could not succeed. He said sending them back via road was risky and therefore he booked flight tickets for them.