Hit by the ongoing lockdown, around 30 autorickshaw drivers, along with their families, from Dimapur district left for their home state Bihar by their auto rickshaws on Saturday.
In all, there were 50 people, including the auto drivers, who left around 12 noon.
President of the Dimapur District Auto Drivers Union Tito Yepthomi said despite several requests not to leave, the auto drivers embarked on their journey home as the prevailing situation compelled them.
Yepthomi said the union assured to do “something” for them and tried to convince them not to leave.
“But they left saying if they have to die, they would die in their home state,” he added.
When asked if they did not get any ration and other assistance from the government’s side, Yepthomi said only 30 bags of rice were given whereas there are over 10,000 auto rickshaws in Dimapur.
He said it will take around four days for them to reach Bihar provided they do not face any problem on the way.
Wishing the auto drivers safe journey, Yepthomi said he gave them Rs 500 each from his pocket to buy at least one bottle of water and some snacks during their journey.
“We will continue to support our Bihari auto drivers’ families and their long journey in our prayers. May you all have a safe journey, brothers,” the union posted on its facebook page.
The union leaders requested the auto drivers, who have been here for 10 to 15 years, to return to Nagaland as and when the Covid-19 situation returns to normal.
The union requested everyone in different states to support them with tea and snacks during their journey until they all reach their destinations.
It also urged any auto driver and his family members in an around Dimapur to contact its president directly at 7005041574 if they face any “untold hardships”.
The union urged any samaritan willing to help the auto drivers’ families but not able to reach out to them to contact its office and president.
All details of donations will be posted on the union Facebook page, it said.
The union said its office bearers will identify each of the affected families and distribute the donations to them.
It said it has been trying its level best to reach out to each affected family of the auto drivers since day one of the national lockdown.