Editors’ note: On the evening of 24 March 2020, the Indian Government issued a nationwide lockdown for the next 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.38 billion population of India as a preventive measure against the first wave of Covid 19 (With about five hundred reported positive cases across the country.) .With zero buffer span, nominal planning and utter disregard for the country's 139 million migrant workers (most of whom are daily earners) stuck in big cities, the impromptu announcement caused the largest exodus in the country’s history since its partition in 1947. With no available mode of transportation, the workers decided to walk their way home, planning to cover thousands of miles on foot. Their journey was ridden with hunger, exhaustion, deaths and frequent abuses from the law enforcement authorities. According to data collected by an independent NGO, 198 workers were killed on the road solely due to accidents. CNN IBN reported 971 deaths altogether.
As of today, the government has not published any official report on the number of deaths.