Photographer Apoorva Salkade won the prestigious Red Ink Award in The Big Picture category for his photography exhibition titled, Migrants’ March: Ahead is Home, Behind is Hunger. These black-and-white photographs by Salkade, employed with Outlook back then, capture the migrant exodus on foot from the cities to their hometowns in 2020 due to the pandemic. His visual reportage of travelling along with scores of migrants is a play of light and shadows that traces the harsh, inhuman conditions in which the poorest of the poor walked back home, with little or no government aid; some even perishing along the way.
A group of migrant workers fast asleep, huddled together on one bedsheet by the roadside, enroute their arduous journey on foot to their hometowns.
A group of migrant labourers take a break from their interstate travel on foot, resting within makeshift sleeping arrangements alongside busy highways. Some sleep fitfully, while others are unable to catch a wink amidst cacophony of traffic sounds, dust and fumes.
Women and children migrants caught resting between their earthly possessions knotted in cloth bags or packed in suitcases.
A family of migrant labourers take refuge under a mammoth tree for the night with their life's possessions and basic necessities of food and water to help them sustain the treacherous commute from the city to the village they call home.
A migrant labourer clicked indulging in a frugal meal of dal and chapati by the roadside.
Stacks of chapatis with dal being distributed and shared by migrants alongside a highway.
A truckful of all men migrant labourers stare into the camera with their minicsule belongings hanging above them.
Migrant labourers climb into a truck that was either the result of a rescue mission by well-meaning individuals or organisations, or a successful attempt at hitchhiking.
A rescue worker in a parked van on a highway portrayed holding food supply before distributing it to a few migrants huddled in the shadows on the right.
A motley group of migrants consisting of a mother, her children and young men await their turn to board transportation that will ferry back home.
An aged migrant caught with a vacant stare sits inbetween a group of migrants resting under a tree on newspapers, their belongings all around them.
Two children lie on a bedsheet by the roadside, fast asleep under the watchful gaze of a male figure, perhaps their father or relative.
Highway view of an auto rickshaw ferrying a migrant family amidst busy traffic.
A motley group of migrants consisting of a mother holding her child, other children and youth outside a bus waiting to ferry migrants back to their hometown.
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