On Tuesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide full lockdown for 21 days, people were seen across India rushing to the supermarkets and grocery shops to buy essential commodities. The lockdown, although an essential measure, has brought severe hardships on people from all walks of life. But the ones that are most hit by this full lockdown are the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, the migrant workers who have been left without food, water and essentials as their daily earrings are hit. After the closure of transport services migrant workers were seen walking along the roadside with their kids, carrying their luggage stuffed, wrapped inside cloths, for miles together just to get back to their homes not knowing that the borders of their home States are also closed for all.
During these desperate times, many states have announced relief packages for the poor. The central government similarly announced a relief package of 1.7 lakh crore for the poor which will be implemented from 1st April. However, there may well be several sections left out from the list of beneficiaries with the government. This may include the homeless, people not registered in several government schemes. It is not known how the government’s rice or wheat bags will reach the homeless, how the migrant workers who are not registered with the government will have access to food and water.
Many social organisations have come forward to help the poor, homeless and the needy during these difficult times. Charitable organisations and few Good Samaritans across several cities in India are providing free food to the poor. The “food drives” are reaching several people left without food and water. People wearing safety masks, carrying boxes of food, could be seen delivering food packages to the poor. In some places, lines of people could be seen sitting together and eating food being served by social organisations. “Social distancing” is not known to the starving lots as they sit to eat together.
It behoves the governments to help the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the unemployed migrant workers stuck in their cities without essentials. Social organisations and everyone contributing to their work in reaching out to the needy are applauded.