Ninety-four members, including 20 children,  27 women and elderly persons of a nomadic troop from West Bengal’s North 24 Paragana district are stuck in the Chandakhol village located six kilometers away from Assam’s Dhubri town due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

The elderly people of the group informed that they are from various villages and they have come to Assam to do business.

These people settle at one place and they roam around the nearby places by selling ornamental stones, medicines and also showing various magic tricks.

“We came to Dhubri district almost four months ago and when we were about to leave Dhubri, the lockdown was announced and since then we are living here in a deplorable condition in this open field,” said Ranjit Maal, the head of the troop.

“We have already exhausted all our incomes during the lockdown and now our conditions are very pathetic, women have already sold their ornaments while boys have also sold their mobile phones to the nearby villagers, to get money for survival,” he added.

But, despite that, they don’t want to return to their native home land, as they fear that once they returned to their respective home lands, the local Bengal administration will quarantine them.

“It’s better to live together here then going to another quarantine centre and accordingly seek proper food and hygienic place to live here from the Dhubri district administration until normalcy returns,” Maal added.

The Dhubri district administration and police administration are providing the ration to the group members since the first day of lock down.

Mukesh Kr Singh

Mukesh Kr Singh is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dhubri. He can be reached at: mkdhubri@gmail.com