Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on companies to continue to pay workers, including day laborers.
But that did not happen, and most of the workers were left with little money and food.
With no prospect of income, they made long journeys to return to their villages. Some managed to get transportation, but those who couldn’t travel hundreds of kilometers.
And some of them never returned home because they died of exhaustion or accidents.
BBC report Vikas Pandey and Anshul Verma.