Money and food quickly ran out and their children were going hungry. They managed to survive on small amounts of rice provided by local charities.
Unable to afford to stay in Delhi any longer, the family were forced to leave their home and make their way back to their village. Jyoti helped her children pack up their belongings and prepare for the long journey. Public transport wasn’t running, so they had no option but to start walking.
The village was hundreds of miles away and it would take them days to reach it on foot. With two very small children, Jyoti wondered how – or if – they would make it.
An exhausting journey
The family walked for the whole day, and then continued walking through the night. When they finally rested, they had to sleep out in the open.
They walked for another day. And then another.
Their food and water was running out and they were getting weak. The children were beyond exhausted. But they had to keep walking.
Finally, after four days and nights, they reached the border of their home state. From there, the police were able to arrange transport for the last few miles of their journey.
They were able to reach home safely but arrived empty-handed. ‘We hope nobody else goes through the struggle and the misery we went through to reach home from Delhi,’ shares Jyoti.
It took some time for them all to recover from their long and stressful journey. But the situation in the village wasn’t much better than it had been for them in Delhi. The couple’s parents had been dependent on their income, so now they were also struggling to afford food.
Tearfund’s local partner has been working with the village community for several years. Part of their coronavirus response was to provide work for those who had lost their jobs. Thankfully, they were able to offer both Jyoti and her husband temporary work at the time they needed it most.
This was a lifeline – enabling the family to get back on their feet, buy basic supplies and feed themselves.