Photos: In locked down India, poor migrants are on a long march back home

A great reverse migration is underway in India.

On March 24, prime minister Narendra Modi urged all Indians to stay at home for three weeks to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The short, four-hour notice for the shutdown, though, effectively trapped the country’s 470 million migrant workers in no man’s land.

The closure of all but essential services has made it impossible for the daily wagers to live in the rented shanties of big cities. Consequently, they have begun the long, arduous trek back home to their villages, threatening to defeat the very purpose of the ongoing 21-day lockdown.

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