12-year-old walks from Telangana, dies before reaching home in Chhattisgarh
A 12-year-old, a journey spanning over a 100 kilometer, and an end that will move all to tears. This is the story of Jamalo Madkam who started on foot from Telangana, where she worked, to Chhattisgarh, her home state. Due to the nationwide lockdown, she couldn't find any mode of transport. Jamalo died just an hour away from her home in Aded, Bijapur district.
Jamalo was the only child of her parents, Andoram (32) and Sukamati Madkam (30). For the first time, two months ago, she had left her home to work in chili farms in Telangana. "She went to Telangana with some women from the village," Andoram told Indian Express. On April 16, he learned that his daughter had left Telangana's Peruru village along with a group.
Eight women and three children constituted the group, with whom Jamalo started her journey back home. By the time they started, the second bout of nationwide lockdown was already announced. The 40-day lockdown will now end on May 3. "They decided to come back after realizing that the lockdown had gotten extended and they would not get any work," Andoram said.
An Indian Express report said Jamalo died around 8 am on April 18. The group had walked till Bijapur's district border and was merely 11-12 km away from her home. Only one person had a phone and since the battery drained out, they couldn't inform her parents. It was only after the group reached Bhandarpal village that they managed to call them.
The residents of Bhandarpal village notified police and her body was taken to her home in an ambulance. NDTV said Jamalo had developed an acute pain in the stomach. Some group members informed she wasn't eating well. "She had walked for three days. She suffered from vomiting and stomach ache," Andoram told. Doctors said Jamalo was extremely dehydrated and malnourished.
Further, CMHO Bijapur told ANI, "Her body was preserved and samples were sent for coronavirus testing as a precautionary measure. It came negative so further action is being taken after post-mortem." "It seems she died either due to exhaustion, electrolyte imbalance or dehydration," the officer added. The entire group was sent to a quarantine facility. To note, Chhattisgarh has only 36 coronavirus cases.
On Monday, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced Rs. 1 lakh for her family. Across India, migrant workers have been hit the hardest due to the lockdown. Left with no money, no food, and no roof over their heads, they were forced to return home. The Centre has asked the state governments to ensure the migrant workers remain where they are.