Social media is currently torn apart on #Metoomigrant movement. The whole debate sparked off after twitteratis started using the hashtag to express solidarity with migrant workers, students and laborers. Post the nationwide lockdown announced on the March 22, 2020, the Indian migrant workers and students are the worst-hit, stranded miles away from their families with nearly zero facilities and too many hardships. Stories of migrants walking across states amid lockdown, many of whom even lost their lives in their journey, starving to death and being run over on railway tracks by train have created unrest among the citizens. However, the migrants’ plights remain unaddressed. Hence what began as a show of empathy for the migrants was soon charged for being invalidating, privileged, cruel, and ignorant.
Our team tried to reach out to people, especially students who have moved out of their hometowns to India’s capital, New Delhi and hear their version of leaving behind the place they have always known for education or work.
Twinkle shares her experience of moving to a giant city like New Delhi from a small town Ranchi after living with her family all her life.
“I had a mix of feelings, I was excited and I knew I will be missing my hometown. Living away from your family gives you independence, but it comes at the cost of greater responsibilities where you learn to take care of yourself better. In a city like Delhi, it becomes really important that you always stay aware. As a woman especially alone in New Delhi, I had to keep extra measures for my safety and security. It has been a learning experience getting to know and understand people from a very different place than where I had spent most of my life. It does get depressing at times when you are away from all the relations you have in life, but you learn to deal with it.”
Sadique, a journalism student at Jamia Milia Islamia University says,
“It was quite a big decision for me. My father had asked me to give it another thought before I had booked my tickets for Delhi. Being a businessman who never went away from his geographical comforts and family, it was difficult for my father. It is unusual in my family for someone to leave home for education purposes, which made me a newbie. Initially, I was very excited and nervous, but the excitement took over the nervousness. But I started feeling homesick within a couple of weeks. A new life, a big university, people from diverse backgrounds, and Delhi’s daredevilness was all too much. Finding a flat was a tough task with no idea about the city. I started spending most of my time with myself. I didn’t know how to approach people, talk to them, and when I did, I could only explain to them that Bihar and Jharkhand were two different states. But anonymity has its own kick, nobody recognizes you and you can be a carefree soul. Now I have a family like friends in the city, I feel more connected and have even memorized the slangs of Purani Dilli.”
Ishitwa says that he had similar concerns like that of any fresh graduate when he moved to Delhi He was not initially sure if he would fit into Delhi’s way of life.
”It definitely was astounding as everyone has a purpose in this city, everyone lacks time. The beginning was difficult and struggling, but my friends helped me get through. Moving to a big city was unusual; nobody has time for anyone than themselves. Adaptation is the eventual struggle in metro cities.”
Mahtab moved to Delhi in 2014,
“Delhi looked like a dream come true for a small-town boy like me. I was very scared at the same time. The crowd was unexpected and disturbing. It wasn’t really Dil walon ki Delhi as they call it. Outsiders are not treated well; the superiority complex among people is often disturbing. Security isn’t just a women’s issue in Delhi. I have had disturbing incidents in the city. I had never felt unsafe at nights before or after in any other city. The communal tension I felt made me realize that metropolitans are not as different as small cities. The city might offer a lot of opportunities, but it offers more crowd. The mall and weekend culture got on my nerves as my friends started to adapt to it. The city made me feel cheated.”
Roli, a DU student shares,
“Before moving to a big city, I had many dilemmas. I wasn’t sure what kind of people, campus politics, and survival would I be faced with. I had expected people to be progressive and fast, which turned out true. However, it often comes with a self-superiority complex, bullying, and shallowness. People lacked introspection which reflects many faces of Delhi. People are too hot-headed here, and the city is not just of Dil wale, it is the entire country. Survival is not as difficult as I had thought, but rather easy. The Market is student-friendly and easier accessibility eases life. The education system is surprising with contrast to other cities and towns. Professors are liberal, cool, and demolish the hierarchy.”