As heartbreaking as it sounds, a 12-year-old girl died due to exhaustion after walking 150 km.  The girl, who was a migrant worker in Telangana, was covering the journey to her home in Chhattisgarh on foot. She reportedly collapsed and died of exhaustion just an hour away from her destination in Bijapur district, PTI reported. She had been walking from Telangana, back home in Chhattisgarh  for more than three days, The Indian Express reported.

The girl, identified as Jamalo Madkam, reportedly worked at a chilli field in Peruru village of Telangana to support her family.

Key Takeaways:

  • Twelve-year-old Jamalo Madkam, a migrant worker in Telangana, was making a 150-km journey to her home in Chhattisgarh, on foot. She has reportedly collapsed and died of exhaustion just an hour away from her destination in Bijapur district.
  • Bijapur Chief Medical and Health Officer BR Pujari said Madkam died of electrolyte imbalance and exhaustion from the treacherous journey. She had tested negative for COVID-19.
  • After the lockdown, many daily wage workers were left jobless and stranded at a chilli field in Peruru village of Telangana. Madkam was among 13 others who started off the journey.

Jamalo was trying to make it to home with 13 others. They all began to walk back home and had covered over 100 km on foot by Sunday. They had reached Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, approximately 11 km away from Madkam’s village. Bijapur Chief Medical and Health Officer BR Pujari was quoted saying to ANI that Madkam died of electrolyte imbalance and exhaustion from the treacherous journey. Madkam tested negative for COVID-19.

“She suffered from vomiting and stomach ache,” the girl’s father told NDTV.

“The distance between the place in Telangana where she worked and Bijapur is 150 km and she died some 50 km away from her native village,” Pujari told PTI. “She had a meal on Saturday morning but then complained of stomach ache and uneasiness and died around 10 am.”

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Her parents, Andoram and Sukamati, live off by collecting and selling forest produce. Makdam is their only child. Her father said that she left home to work for the first time.  They said their daughter had left home for the first time two months ago to work in the chilli field to support the family. On Monday, her parents received the news about their daughter’s death as the group had limited access and couldn’t reach out to them on time.

A medical team from Bijapur reached out to the group on the outskirts of Bhandarpal village and found the body. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced Rs 1 lakh for the girl’s family. The group is now in a quarantine zone.

Hyderabad-based Balala Hakkula Sangham’s honorary president Achyuta Rao has reportedly filed a petition before the Telangana State Human Rights Commission, seeking necessary action against the officials who could not rescue a child labourer.

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On Tuesday the number of COVID-19 cases in India increased by 1,336 in 24 hours to reach a total 18,601.

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