THE POOR FLEE DELHI DURING THE CORONA LOCKDOWN

Scores of migrant workers heading back home seen at Anand Vihar bus terminal close to Delhi's border with Ghaziabad on Day 5 of the 21-day countrywide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, on March 29, 2020

 – Mitej Teji

The whole world is now in the grip of the Corona Virus Covid 19.

The rich, the poor are all falling prey to it.  It does not matter who or what you are.  Prince Charles and the Prime Minister Honourable Boris Johnson have also fallen into it’s clutches.  If the authorities cannot escape it than the normal beings need to be extremely cautious.

In India, the twenty one days lock down throughout India was suddenly announced by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.  It caught the citizens, in the capital of India Delhi by surprise.

A vast number of people were also living in Delhi who had come from the villages in the other states.  This sudden announcing forced them to return back to their villages.

The land lords shut the doors on them and when they were out on the roads, they were getting beaten by the police for not honouring the lock down.  Only choice they were left with, was to return back to their villages.

In thousands they started to leave Delhi.  The mothers, the children, the disabled, the young and the old were seen walking on the roads in the lockdown whilst the Government officials were sitting in comfort in their homes.

The question remains that since 1947, the poor have faced horrendous hardships to survive.

Even today during the scare of Covid 19, they are out on the roads because the Government has failed to take them into consideration.  They do not have their own accommodations but seek shelter on daily basis.

As all the work that supported them in Delhi was closed so the landlord shut doors on them.  This forced them out on the roads to return back to their villages.  They said “that they rather die in their villages than on the roads in Delhi.

It shows of their feelings they held towards Delhi because of the hardships they were enduring to survive in it.

In the past, the people from all walks of life have traveled to Delhi, but they had the chances to settle down but now it seems for the poor to settle in Delhi is extremely difficult and this is why in thousands are seen leaving Delhi  in the lockdown.

For thousands of years, the fate of the poor (the lower castes) has been in the hands of the rich (the higher castes).

Even today is the same.  The rich have refrigerators and money.  They can purchase goods to last for many weeks but the poor still survive on daily basis.  They have no refrigerators in their homes so they purchase food only for one day. Sometimes even that they cannot afford.

The rich have all means of protection from the Corona Virus. They can remain in their dwellings for weeks to escape Corona but the poor have to go out daily to earn and maintain their families.

In this period of need they desperately need food and it falls on the authorities to supply them, failing they will be forced to go out, to fulfill their family demands.

In Delhi, if the Police had not used the lathy sticks on the poor than the situation would have been quite different.  They needed help and guidance and not aggression and brutality towards them.

It was indeed amazing to note from the TV coverage that how determined these people were to leave Delhi.

The children aged five to eight have walked no end of miles with their parents.  The women have carried infants and luggage on their heads for many, many miles.  They had blisters on their feet but still carried on.  Some had no food or drink for three days but their will kept them going along.

From where did they get strength, stamina and courage to do this?  It is a great achievement on their part. They have done this to safeguard their families from ending on the streets of Delhi.

The fear of Corona Virus has brought the Police, the Public, the Military, the Medical staff and the Government close together.

The Police in some states is cooking food and feeding fodder to the animals.  It shows that Corona scare has pumped kindness into the hearts of the humans and these good gestures show that kindness still exists in the mankind.

Finally, the Covid 19 has brought us close together and it would be nice if we pull through it as one brotherhood and leave the caste and religious differences behind for the Corona to feed on.

Jai Bharat

Mitej Teji