Dumanimail : Livelihoods ultimately keep lives going. Hence,taking care of livelihoods is taking care of lives..
Cities in India are once again locking down and clamping curfews to fight Covid-19 and workers are once again pouring out and heading back home to rural areas. Health experts now fear that this exodus could accelerate the spread of the virus and devastate poorly equipped villages as was the case in the last pandemic.
Thousands are fleeing hot spots in cities as India hits another unprecedented spike in the Carona infections this week.To make things worse today it has crossed the 2.34 lakh mark. In fact, the figure is expected to swell every passing day. Bus terminals are packed and crowds are growing at railway stations. And the tragedy is the arrival centres are barely ready to test the arrivals and quarantine the indisposed. Concerned officials aver that the speed and scale of the migrants arrival are catching us off balance.
It is indeed shame on our part that again we are risking to repeat the traumatic mass movement that occurred last year.All of us still remember that last year the lowly paid migrant workers and their families had fled cities by train,bus,trucks,bicycle and also there are many instances of these desperate workers sailing on the turbulent high seas for days together and risking their lives to reach their destinations to meet their near and dear ones at home.
There were also stories of hordes of people walking hundreds of kilometers under the scorching sun and that too with their families on the sweltering highways and some of them even falling dead due to exhaustion and heat are indeed pathetic and horrendous incidents never heard before. The migration also plays a significant role in spreading the virus back home.
For these migrant workers at urban centers, India needs a policy ensuring basic amenities like water, housing and health infrastructure.
The Government and Corporate must look into these issues with utmost urgency. We hear of some plans and programmes both by the Union and State Governments in this regard but it is indeed unfortunate that still no concrete initiate have been taken yet in support of the migrant workers.
The Administration needs to be serious on the issue and the crisis by no means ,should be the contention to exchange spiteful jeers and jibes among the political parties ,but instead, our political leaders should gear up to the occasion and must act with diligence and utmost care.
Mumbai has banned public gatherings and ordered most business to various restrictions and some small business have also closed down. No different is the situation in other mega cities.
We fairly hope that the lessons we have learnt from the first wave pertaining to the migrants will definitely have impact on us and good sense will prevail….