Varanasi: “Hello, could you please help us, we want to go back home, we have no money, and we are starving here in Tamil Nadu,” a call came from Tiruppur, a major textile and knit wear hub contributing to 90% of total cotton knit wear exports from India.
The man, who introduced himself as Sandeep, a resident of Baansdih area of Ballia district, said that around 1,200 workers from Ballia, Ghazipur, Mau and other districts of eastern UP are stranded in the lockdown. Like Sandeep, there are many workers including Rambadan Rajbhar, Dhanesh, Mantu, Sanjay, Harishchandra, Pankaj, Ramnarayan, Altaf and hundreds of others stranded in lockdown.
“We are short of money as the employers are not paying us. We are starving in want of food,” said one of them adding that they had applied around 10 days back for returning home by Shramik special train, but they were yet to get any information in this regard. “Whenever we go to the railway station to enquire about the train, we are thrashed by the police personnel,” he said.
These workers also tried to contact the administration of their respective home districts and political leaders, but failed to get any relief. “Now, our only hope is with our chief minister Yogi Adityanath. We urge his to do something for us,” he said.
These workers were associated with various firms and engaged in different trades in Tiruppur, which is situated on the banks of Noyyal River. The name Tiruppur is said to have emerged during the Mahabharata era. According to legends, the cattle herds of Pandavas were stolen by thieves and the same was recaptured by Arjuna’s forces resulting in the name ‘Thiruppur’ (Thiruppu: to turn and oor: place in Tamil) meaning the ‘place where they were returned back’. Tiruppur is also known as the knitwear capital of India. It has spurred up the textile industry in India for the past three decades.