Free rides for workers and students going home for Tet

Workers and students in Ho Chi Minh City have been offered free rides home this Tet (Lunar New Year), a gesture of support with the hope that everyone can be reunited with their families.
Free rides for workers and students going home for Tet
Workers and students prepared to go home for Tet. (Photo: VNA)

On January 28, two ‘Trains of Spring’ carried a total of 138 people, including laborers together with their spouses and children, back to their hometowns in the Central and Northern regions.

The program, which has been carried out for the past few years, is a practical and meaningful action towards the migrant workers who cannot afford to go home for the holiday.

According to Huynh Van Tuan, president of the union for industrial parks and export processing zones in the city, the initial plan was to transport 800 people (equivalent to 200 families) on these charity train rides.

However, the demand was lower than in previous years due to the complicated COVID-19 situation. There were also five other businesses and grassroots unions that helped transport 600 people back to their hometowns.

“In addition to offering free train tickets for the workers to go home with their families for Tet, our federation of labor also provides financial support of 200,000 VND (8.8 USD)", said Tuan.

“The CEP (Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor) also hands out face masks, hats and other necessities".

Trinh Thi Hanh from Thanh Hoa province felt touched and overjoyed by the support. She has been unable to work for three months due to the outbreak in HCM City last year.

Hanh said: “I have been working in HCM City for the past 10 years, and go back home every Tet. My husband is returning with me today. All of our children are still living in our hometown".

“Many people where I work don’t go home but stay in the city this year".

The workers who chose to stay back also received support from the unions. The HCM City Federation of Labor especially offered 4,000 families free packages to Dam Sen amusement park throughout the holiday, from January 29 to February 7, 2022.

On January 27, the HCM City Communist Youth Union and Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage also organized the program Mang Tet ve nha (Bring Tet home) to help people from HCM City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces to return home for Tet.

A total of 540 flight tickets, 325 train tickets, and 3,105 bus tickets (returning trips included) were handed out to people in need.

Earlier on January 23, more than 1,000 students and workers were also offered free bus rides home.

The trips were organized by the Communist Youth Union, Vietnam National Union of Students, and the student support center in HCM City.

Nguyen Thi Hang Nga, a student of HCM City University of Agriculture and Forestry who was going home in central Binh Dinh province, expressed her gratitude.

“There are many people who care and readily lend a hand to students", she said.

Many migrant labourers from the Central region were also given free bus tickets to their hometowns.

Free rides for workers and students going home for Tet
Two trains offering free rides for workers and students going home for Tet. (Photo: VNA)

Taking a step further, HCM City plans to coordinate with several provinces to help the students go back to their universities after the holiday. It is expected that up to 1,500 students will return to the city on these bus rides when the pandemic situation is under control.

The Vietnam National Union of Students and the Vietnamese Student Development and Support Centre also handed out 100 million VND (4,415 USD) in total to support students in need in HCM City.

The free bus ride programme for the Lunar New Year has now entered its twenty-first year of operation, having transported a total of nearly 57,000 people home for the holiday.

The local student support centre also plans to hold a gathering and handed out gifts for students who remain in the city, with 1,500 presents given to students in difficult circumstances affected by COVID-19.

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(Source: VNA)

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