That the bricks of a house are chipping, is only discovered when the walls start getting damp on the outside.
No one realises that before, and if they do, they conveniently ignore.
It’s the same with any society.
Spraying migrant labourers with disinfectants. What are they, animals ? Did you spray this disinfectant on the passengers you airlifted from various countries ? Is this your fucking morality https://t.co/dVJHdDniu6— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) March 30, 2020
And let’s just say that right now, the paint on the nation’s walls, is wearing off.
The inequality is no longer something you can ignore.
It is staring you right in the face.
In the form of endless queues.
Delhi: Migrant workers in very large numbers at Delhi’s Anand Vihar bus terminal, to board buses to their respective home towns and villages. They have walked to the bus terminal on foot from different parts of the city. pic.twitter.com/MIrq3xm9zo— aamir (@Inquilabo) April 10, 2020
And in the worst of all cases, deaths.
An 8-year-old in Bihar died recently because the family couldn’t earn its daily wage. This was right after the lockdown was imposed.
His demise is not the one people will talk about, though, and that has nothing to do with the pandemic.
It’s simply because people who are not important alive, disappear after their death, as if they never existed.
And all of us know that, of course, but usually the burden of that realisation is too heavy, and we want a distraction from that.
Don’t read negative news. Switch off the TV. Focus on the good.
That’s what we tell ourselves, which is understandable.
However, to think that something most of us can’t even read, is another person’s reality, just shows the disparity that exists in the world we live in.
The poor and migrant workers of India were never given notice of the Corona lockdown. Many were stranded, flooded bus stations & couldn’t find a ride home.— Arjun Sethi (@arjunsethi81) April 3, 2020
Now they’re experiencing vicious police brutality.
Video from Telangana, India.pic.twitter.com/VnUSYRTaAP
After the lockdown, migrant workers in various parts of the country started returning to their hometowns.
Which of course was in direct violation of the rules, and an extremely dangerous thing to do.
Long March home. Migrant workers continue to leave New Delhi on foot. Today at 7pm outside All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung Hospital a group of workers walk on the empty roads towards the Uttar Pradesh border. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/ghKNNYOIpq— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) March 28, 2020
But what were their options?
The funds allotted by the government are not enough for so many daily wage workers, and with every thing shut down, they have no income either.
What is one meant to do in that scenario? Think of the bigger picture? Take precautionary measures?
Precaution is a privilege only those with food on their plates enjoy.
“We don’t have food or milk for the children. How can we survive without food?”— Khan (@KKhattakk) March 31, 2020
Hundreds of homeless and daily-wage workers have been left stranded after India was placed under a 21-day lockdown. https://t.co/fTi0ll8kXN
There is a saying in Hindi which translates to: A hungry person’s only religion is food.
By that logic, millions of people in the country don’t have a God anymore.
A Long Walk Home— Ashish Sharma (@ashishsphotos) March 27, 2020
Thousand of Daily wage migrant workers are leaving the National Capital in the wake of the pandemic coronavirus which has not only brought a lockdown in the country but also left them with no work or daily life. #india #MigrantsOnTheRoad #CoronaLockdown pic.twitter.com/sK8xNuBvu2
And it’s not just that. There are people who have food and a roof above their heads, but it’s 5 of them living in a tiny 1-room house. How can they possibly ‘isolate’ themselves?
The inequality is evident in everything. For people who have a home and money, the anxiety comes from the fact that no one knows what the future holds. We are thinking of the months that lie ahead.
While there are others who ask themselves every day: Will I stay alive tomorrow?
Desperate migrant, cuts off his Plaster, starts walking towards Rajasthan to reach home @ashokgehlot51 @INCIndia @SachinPilot @ChouhanShivraj @RahulGandhi@soniandtv @ndtv @NPDay@delayedjab #lockdownindia#MigrantsOnTheRoad #covid #Coronavirustruth pic.twitter.com/AY2cpEcj08— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) March 31, 2020
The only small hope comes from the fact that numerous organisations are working for the cause – and a lot of people in the country are making donations, giving whatever they can.