Trying to make it home, 12-year-old girl dies after walking almost 100 kms amid the lockdown

Officials said that the tribal girl died on April 18 due to exhaustion and electrolyte imbalance

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A 12-year-old girl, Jamlo Madkam, who had left her home in Chhattisgarh for the first time two months ago to work at a chilli farm in Telangana with relatives and friends, died on her way back amidst the Coronavirus lockdown, reported The Indian Express.

Officials said that the tribal girl died due to electrolyte imbalance and exhaustion on April 18, having walked for over three days, covering over 100 kms with 13 others, passing away barely 11 km short of her home in Aded in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. The 13 members of the group included eight women and three children.

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel yesterday announced a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, for Jamlo, the only child of Andoram (32) and Sukamati Makdam (30) who survived on the forest produced they collected. Speaking to the publication Andoram said it was the first time Jamlo had gone out to work. He said, “She went to Telangana with some women from the village.”

Andoram said that he had last heard that Jamlo had left the Peruru village in Telangana on April 16 with a group. “They decided to come back after realizing that the lockdown had got extended and they would not get any work.”

It was reported that Jamlo passed away on April 18 at around 8 AM just when the group reached the border of Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. However, her family could not be informed by the group as only one among the 13 had a phone whose battery had died.

The members of the group managed to call her parents only upon reaching the Bhandarpal village when they took the help of a villager to inform Jamlo’s family about her death. The Bhandarpal villagers also alerted police.

Medical Officer of Bijapur district Dr B R Pujari said that when they got the news, they immediately rushed over. “Since Telangana had cases, we immediately sent our teams, but we couldn’t find them,” he said.

Finally, though, a medical team caught up with them on the outskirts of the Bhandarpal village. While Jamlo’s body was taken to a morgue, the rest of the group was taken to a quarantine center.

Dr. Pujari told the Hindustan Times, “She walked along with the group crossing difficult terrain of Maoist-affected forest and on Saturday evening she collapsed in Bhandarpal jungles.”  

Jamlo was also tested for coronavirus after her samples were sent to Jagdalpur and her results was negative. Andoram and Sukamati took their daughter’s body on Sunday evening.

Jamlo’s death is just one more added to the long list of migrants who have died trying to make their way back home amid the coronavirus lockdown after the certainty of them sustaining in cities was put under question due to the lockdown that halted all activity in a bid to curb the coronavirus. Over 22 migrants have died on their way back home trying to escape the hunger that stared them in the face of the shutdown. They wanted to return to their families, to the safety of their homes. However, many are still cramped in shelters in cities with no scope of social distancing, with meager meals, with no news of their families back home, no money; only awaiting to reunite with their families.


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