06:08 GMT04 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The lockdown in India imposed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has brought untold misery to hundreds of thousands of poor daily wage earners. They lost their livelihood, and without any earnings, many trudged hundreds of kilometres to return their homes, while many more were sent back by trains and buses.

    For Urmila Devi, a resident of Asansol district in India’s West Bengal state, lockdown and quarantine brought unexpected happiness in her life. She had been separated from her husband Suresh Prasad 20 years ago, when he disappeared all of a sudden.

    After several years, Urmila came to know that her husband was working as a daily wager in New Delhi. The woman singlehandedly brought up her four children – two girls and two boys.

    On Thursday, during an identification of people brought at the quarantine centre, the local police came to know about the story of Suresh Prasad and identified him as a resident of Burnpur Nursing Bandh locality. Later, they made the long-awaited reunion between the husband and wife, and their children come true. Suresh Prasad was among hundreds of daily wagers brought by train from Delhi.

    “I came by train from Delhi. I was staying at Kashmere Gate in Delhi, doing daily labour. I had left this place 20 years ago after a bout of depression and stress. During the lockdown the Kejriwal government (government of the national capital) had kept me in a school and then sent me home by train,” said Suresh Prasad.

    “After eight years, I received a letter saying, he was in Chandni Chowk in Delhi and don’t try to trace him,” said Urmila Devi.

    India’s state governments have started arranging transportation for hundreds of thousands of daily wage earners, who have lost their livelihoods during the lockdown.

    The lockdown is expected to be lifted on 31 May, but the caseload of COVID-19 is surging. As on Friday, there were 89,987 active cases in India, with 71,105 people cured and 4,706 deaths.

    reunion, West Bengal, COVID-19, lockdown, New Delhi, India
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