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Tens of thousands of impoverished migrant workers are on the move across India, walking on highways and railway tracks or riding in trucks, buses and crowded trains in blazing heat, Associated Press reports.
Some are accompanied by pregnant wives and young children, braving threats from the coronavirus pandemic. They say they have been forced to leave cities and towns where they had toiled for years building homes and roads after they were abandoned by their employers casualties of a nationwide lockdown to stop the virus from spreading.
On Saturday, at least 23 laborers died in northern India when a truck they were traveling in smashed into a stationary truck on a highway. Last week, a train crashed into a group of tired workers who fell asleep on the tracks while walking back home in western Maharashtra state, killing 16.
The government and charities have tried to set up shelters for them, but their numbers are simply overwhelming, leaving them little choice but to head on a perilous journey home.