On May 9, actor Sonu Sood, along with his friend, restaurateur Niti Goel, were distributing food to stranded migrants when they came across a group of workers who were planning to take a 550 km long journey to Karnataka, on foot. Sood asked them for a time period of two days to make better arrangements.

Sonu Sood and Niti Goel
Source: fueladream

On May 11, after procuring required permissions from both the state governments and arranging adequate transport, Sonu Sood sent off the first batch of migrant workers home in ten buses.

Since then, in just two short weeks, Sood has helped thousands of migrants reach home. Their homes are spread across India, but it appears, that no state, town, or village is too far for Sood to arrange a bus to.

Even as state and central governments, and various government departments continue to indulge in petty politics and blame game, Sood has emerged as a real-life superhero for stranded migrants.

Sonu Sood
Source: BBC

The process of arranging travel for migrant workers is no easy feat. Apart from arranging permissions from different states, Sood, Goel, and their team, also ensure that migrants have proper documents to help them cross the borders.

Sonu Sood
Source: BBC

And each 60-seater bus has only 30 passengers, to ensure social distancing and two drivers, who take turns at driving, to minimize the risk of accidents due to exhaustion.

While the shramik special trains arranged by the government find themselves off-course, with limited to no food supplies, and unhygienic conditions, Sood, with help from chef Vikas Khanna, has ensured that migrants have adequate food and water for the long journey.

While migrants are left anxiously scurrying around railway stations, seeking information about trains, Sood had started a toll-free helpline for the migrants.

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And even as conflicting stories of government charging migrant workers for the train fare emerged, Sood has not charged a single penny from any of the workers he has helped reach home.

Sonu Sood
Source: Twitter

Reportedly, the cost of a trip ranges anywhere between ₹64,000 to ₹1.8 lakh, depending upon the distance being covered. Initially, he bore the complete expense from his own pocket, but once word spread, other people also stepped in to help.

Sonu Sood during migrant crisis
Source: India TV News

Appreciation, accolades, help, and strange requests - all floated on social media once his actions became front-page news. And with his responses, Sood managed to spread some cheer, even in these troubling times.

In an interview with BBC, Sood shared why he feels so strongly about the migrant crisis:

I feel strongly about the migrant issue because I came to Mumbai as a migrant. I just boarded a train one day and landed up here. Everyone comes here with a dream, they want to make their family proud, and everyone should be treated well. I can't stop until the last migrant has reached home.
Sonu Sood
Source: India Tv News

Sood and Goel, who are working almost 18 hours a day, are also risking their physical well-being to help migrant workers. And yet, they continue on.

Sonu Sood
Source: Indian Express

Sonu Sood's actions are not only a lesson in humanity but proof that a single man's commitment and action can, indeed, make a difference. If only our government also thought first of the people they are governing, rather than their own selfish interests.