Covid-19 pandemic: India’s lockdown to hit informal sector workers the hardest

Rashid Ali one of the labours from Bihar rang the bell early in the morning kuch madad ho jaaati to. I did what I could after taking every precautionary measure. Offering salaam he said bhai dekhna ye hai ki bhook pehle maaarti hai ki virus he went without a smile. I vividly remember the lines of a poet  

‘Sab pareshan hai ki akhir kis vaba mein woh mirey jinko ghurbat ke alawaa koi bimaari na thi ‘

(Everybody is worried about the epidemic that will ensnare them who have no illness than poverty).

Coronavirus which is not fatal but it becomes lethal because it tends to spread like nuclear fission that is the prime reason that it had caused havoc even in the countries which are well equipped with top-class medical facilities. If this outbreak reaches to a poor country with a highly densely population that will be far worse than havoc. The time for India could not be worse when the country was almost on the verge of the financial crisis. GDP is on a nose dive situation purchasing power of a common man was almost moved down to zilch. Now with this onslaught of Covid-19 health emergency will compliment financial emergency which was never been the urgency of the Centre will prove to be the last nail in the coffin. No one knows how grave this will be and how long this will last.

“The next outbreak and we are not ready “this is exactly Bill Gates warned in one of his Ted Talks in 2015. Global experts had already been warning world leaders that serious epidemic rivalling the speed and severity of influenza of 1918 was not the matter of if but when. Still, the world was not prepared. Were the leaders ignored the upcoming epidemic deliberately or they lack vision and were not capable enough to visualise the upcoming disaster? Mediocrity is the biggest propaganda which had sieved into the veins of every nation, every institution and every system insidiously. Adding insult to injury mediocrity never let the excellence thrive and flourish once it comes into a powerful position. The world had never questioned this propaganda which is called mediocrity in the recent past. Adding fire to fury the most powerful country made the businessman as their President.  

India is no different and was very busy hating particularly ever since May 2014. While the country was busy showcasing the showmanship of two so-called great leaders brazenly, celebrating mediocrity. India reported the first case of the coronavirus infection on 30 January 2020 in the GODS own country which is Kerala. The affected had a travel history from Wuhan in China. While the leader of the opposition initiated the warning but almost to deaf ears as few of the politicians’ busy rabble-rousing and masterminding the civil war that too in the capital of the country which is most vulnerable to the virus.

Every sixth Indian out of ten is poor and almost 450 million workers work in the informal sector of the country, had been stranded on the road with no means of transport and food on the notice of just 4 hours. Privileged India fights corona by sitting on their comfortable home will be watching Ramayana as announced by Prasar Bharti, some candyfloss flicks on net flicks they say if you can’t provide them food provide them entertainment, social distancing themselves, How long real India will keep fighting starvation and corona right on roads. Scenes which are heart rendering, people with little kids and their wives walking to reach their home. State governments have to take ownership of the issue at hand, but they are dreadfully unprepared for this once-in-a-generation crisis.

With a laser focus on cutting virus transmission, they locked down borders and suspended all transport – but not a thought was given to the hunger crisis this would trigger in a malnutrition country, as workers were left adrift. The centre had announced the relief package of Rs 1.70000 crores hope this does not turn out to be just a number and merely an announcement like many other packages and schemes of the centre. what will be the modus operandi and plan of action for its proper and timely distribution since the working class is not trusting the government they had already started migrating. Had the local MPs and MLAs been directed with the help of police about the distribution of the packages or the police busy venting out its frustration on the people and MPs MLAs busy watching Ramayana and chalking out plans for further polarisation? 

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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