By: Aryan Kapoor
When India imposed a lockdown all across the nation, everyone extended full support to this move in the belief that we need to stand as one in this fight against
the virus. Our government has taken myriad measures to ensure an effective lockdown and prevent the spread of coronavirus but the flip side of all this does not
look bright. A country with such a huge population was locked down at a very short notice, ignoring the needs of the poorest and the migrant workers. Without work, food and shelter most of the migrant workers, belonging to the weaker and depressed section of our society, headed towards their native place on foot when the lockdown was imposed. Thousands of them are still on the roads, walking hundreds of
kilometres with their families and meagre belongings.
The problem faced by the migrant workers due to the lockdown is natural because a majority of migrant workers have lost their jobs and are not even getting two meals a day despite claims by the central and state governments that everyone is being provided food. Many of them have lost lives while walking under the scorching sun without food and water. Besides lack of food and basic amenities, the migrants are now at the risk of coming across the coronavirus and spreading it to the areas they are moving along. The only silver lining in the dark cloud is that India’s urban residents seem to have finally woken up to the circumstances in which many of their fellow citizens are living. They have begun to realise how much these voiceless, faceless people contribute to their lives. Will the death of hundreds of workers be seen as a fall-out of the pandemic, the apathy of the State, or just another statistic to be forgotten?
Most importantly, will it be a wakeup call to India’s policymakers?