A video of a woman with an infant travelling by holding onto her life while sitting on the connecting part between two compartments in a train went viral on social media. This video has been circulated with the claim that the mother and infant were migrant workers and the situation the country is so poor that they have to travel to their hometown in such a situation.
This video was posted with a caption that said,”See it…. These are the people from whom the country develops … These working people are going to their homes at the risk of their lives.” The captioned also tagged the official twitter handle of the Prime Minister Office, PM Narendra Modi, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Maharashtra Minister for Tourism and Environment Aaditya Thackeray and Maharashta CM Uddhav Thackeray.
Another Twitter user tweeted the video with a caption,”Dear Piyush Goyal do you see the danger you have put the lives of the poor at, all because your’ll didn’t have the heart to send these migrants free of cost. I do not know if she &her child have reached safe but I hope she does. This govt is directly responsible for their misery.” The Tweet is now unavailable but can be seen archived.
Several other Twitter users tweeted similar narrative, but the tweet was taken down. One of the tweets is archived here.
The video was also circulated via whatsapp.
Several Facebook profiles posted this video to celebrate mothers day, with a caption, “दुनिया की सबसे बड़ी योद्धा माँ होती हैं!”. This translates to, “the biggest warrior in the world is our mother”.
The claim is false. Some Twitter users suggested that the viral video could be from Bangladesh as the yellow lines on the train matches with the trains of Bangladesh. A Twitter handle named “Umashankar Singh” tweeted, “इस फ़ैक्ट चेक को थोड़ा और गहराई में ले जाएँ तो 2018 नहीं 2016 में इसे अपलोड किया गया है। 2018 में बिहार का कह कर कोई बेशक इसे अपलोड कर दिया हो लेकिन ये भारतीय रेल का नहीं लगता। डब्बे पर लकीर का पैटर्न इसे बांग्लादेश रेलवे का भान देता है। 3 तस्वीर संलग्न है। पड़ताल का विकास है।” This translates to,” If we take this fact check in a bit more, it has been uploaded in 2018 and not in 2016. Somebody may have uploaded it by saying Bihar in 2018 but it does not seem to be of Indian Railways. The pattern of the streak on the box makes it the identity of Bangladesh Railways. 3 photos attached. Investigation is development.”
The video was also uploaded on a Bangladeshi Newspaper Prothom Alo’s You Tube channel on September 13, 2016. The video was titled “ঈদ মানে বাড়ি ফেরা—সশরীরে বা মনে মনে.” It translates to “Eid means returning home physically or mentally”.
Another video uploaded by News Station on May 18, 2017 where the then spokesperson for Ministry of Railways, Anil Saxena explained about investigating the video.
Therefore, it can be confirmed that the incident did not happen with migrant workers in India, neither did it happen during COVID-19 pandemic.