‘They treat us like stray dogs’: Migrant workers flee India’s cities

Along the Barabanki highway outside Lucknow—the capital of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh—a spring morning finds two men asleep under a tree, limbs askew. One of them lies on a worn-out black throw with colorful stripes; the other sleeps on a discarded white gunny sack, near bicycles with duffel bags attached. Another three men sleep a short distance away in similar makeshift arrangements. Their clothes and hair are gritty, the dirt and sweat from their journey coating their skin.


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