Coronavirus Lockdown Maharashtra: Over a hundred people have tested positive for the deadly virus in Maharashtra as the state continues to witness an alarming upsurge in the number of cases every day. Much to their chagrin, the laborers, the daily wagers, particularly seem to have gotten the raw end of the deal.
While necessary and completely justified, the COVID-19 curfew has stripped the wage earners of their incomes. In an attempt to put a lid on the hard-to-control pandemic, people have been urged to remain indoors. There are no prizes for guessing that the less fortunate laborers and daily wagers have been affected the most by the curfew.
On Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a complete lockdown in the state, imposing prohibitory orders as a preventive measure to restrict further outspread of the coronavirus. At the time of writing, more than a hundred people had tested positive for the life-threatening virus in the state.
A large number of companies and multinationals have allowed their employees to work from their homes, and only five percent of staff are working in government offices. Laborers, especially daily wagers, on the other hand, have been robbed of their incomes.
For instance, 25-year-old construction worker Ranjan Mukhiya used to earn 450 INR daily, but due to the COVID-19 curfew, he is left with no choice but to stay indoors. Originally from Darbhanga, Bihar, Mukhiya works at an under-construction building in Kalina.
“I have not been paid in the last couple of days, as the work has come to a standstill at the site. My labor contractor has been providing me some essentials, helping me survive without money,” he told The Economic Times.
Following the lockdown announcement, there has been a mass evacuation of laborers from the site, he explained. Mukhiya and several other daily wagers like him live in shared rooms and pay about 500 INR per month as rent for these crowded accommodations.
Daily-wage laborer Ranjeet Kumar Yadav said, “We have been borrowing money to survive. We want the government to at least help us get to our hometowns.” Autorickshaw driver Dilip Benbansi says the COVID-19 lockdown is nothing like what he has seen in the last 15 years living in the city.
“I had to borrow Rs 2,000 from a colleague to buy essentials for the month,” Benbansi said.
A lot of more fortunate people are spending most of the time sharing posts about how they are dealing with boredom during the lockdown, while we should be counting our blessings instead. At times like these, having a roof above your head, and a source of income are two of the greatest blessings to have.
There might not be a lot of things we can do at the moment to help those in need, but by choosing not to step outside your home unless unavoidable, you are playing a vital role in restricting the coronavirus.
Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi urged employers to not deduct salaries of those working for them, if possible and I think it is the least we can do for them on humanitarian ground. Kindly share your thoughts on how else can we help those in need without violating the 21-day curfew in the comments section below!