Covid highlighted socio-economic Disparity

I seldom ever indulge in conversations pertaining to politics,
because it's neither my expertise, nor my area of interest.
And quite honestly, the field I quite detest.
But during this lockdown,
there emerged a new breakdown.

Unlike some territories,
where they probably missed their walks and sundries.
We were given just a four hour notice,
after which the lockdown came into effect.
Nobody remembered the 150 million+ migrant workers.
Dependent on daily wages and a meagre pay,
they decided they just cannot afford in the cities anymore to stay.

After being denied any help, salary or money,
unable to pay the rent and when their stomachs churned grumpy,
all over India these rural->urban migrants,
hungry and left with mere bits and fragments.
With no public transport, lakhs of them,
With no support they took to the streets and began walking.
For thousands of kilometres while we sat safe at home just worried about our grocery shopping.

Women, children and even families on the street.
Many of them in this summer season walking bare feet.
Have you ever accidentally put your toes on hot concrete?
Those roads are scalding hot, with molten tar they compete.
The temperature right now is between 40°C to 49°C at many places.
No food, no water; can you picture their desperate faces?
They say they'd rather go home and die out there,
back to their small villages, not alone in despair.

The highways are filled with migrants walking.
What's worse is - many of them were beaten up for flocking.
Hungry stomachs with no voice.
Beaten mercilessly by the cops, by choice.
Sprayed like animals,
to disinfect them, so tyrannical.
By the time they reach the state/district borders,
they are not allowed to cross as per social distancing orders.

For those who can afford it,
hidden in essential commodity-carrying trucks,
in cement churners, they hide like sardines in a can, and duck.
Exploited by truck drivers, they pay a hefty sum,
fleeced in every way, these people renting city slums.
Their apartments are the size of a modern washroom.
And in that, five to six of them together live and groom.

It's been two months of lockdown now.
And lacks of them still walking on the streets, how?
Finally few days ago, some few trains and buses arranged for them.
But too late, for a few succumbed to death, these worthless gems.
Waiting for the trains to begin scheduled services,
they slept in between the tracks, those tiny crevices.
Not realising freight trains would still be running,
many of these people died in their sleep unaware and waiting.

All over the country, from the big cities these migrants are walking home.
Two months of lockdown, thousands of kilometres on foot they roam.
Less than a hundred rupees some of them had.
That's less than two dollars, so now some have gone rogue and mad.
Destroying the few cars they see on the way,
because they are unable to make it home and are forced to stay.
While rescue and repatriation flights started way early in the fray,
the poor migrant workers almost two months later just got a few trains and buses which were not sufficient anyway.

The roads and highways are filled with them, so many on the way.
I don't believe the numbers of positive cases are what the channels claim to say.
A unique situation.
Millions of poor wandering on the streets.
But nobody really cares.
Most people, at the headlines just stare.
We're not scared of covid-19, they say.
Hunger and heat will kill us before it does anyway.

- RUELHA
Pic credit:timesofindia (dead on tracks)
Pic credit:tribuneindia.com (hidden and travelling for hours in enclosed cement mixers)
Pic credit:the week.in (sprayed to disinfect)
Pic credit:scroll.in (hidden in essential commodity carrying trucks)
Pic credit:aljazeera.com (fighting for a spot after special bus/train services commenced)
Pic credit:indianexpress.com (we do’nt need a seat. We’ll just climb on the roof instead)
Pic credit:thehindu.com (social distancing being followed)
Pic credit:aljazeera.com (all of their belongings)
featured/first image: courtesy Times of India

12 Comments

  1. Almost the same thing is happening to my country and I wished our leaders planned well and took into consideration all the sectors who will be affected. Makes me mad to see some workers walking for hours under the hot sun. Only tricycles (similar to tuktuks in Thailand) have been allowed in Metro Manila now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really? I had no idea our neighbours in the Philippines are facing a similar problem….
    🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏🌈🙏
    Please take care and stay safe. 🙏✝️🕊🛐

    Like

  3. A ministry I support, Love Justice, has group homes for children they rescue from human trafficking and can not go back home. Love Justice has been reaching out to the poor that live near the group homes to provide food. So much can be done to show the love of God at this time.

    Jesus loves you little sister 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so sad….children forced into human trafficking.
    God bless Love Justice and you too Brother Matt.
    I agree….the world is so hungry for Gods love, peace and grace. It’s not easy to be a reflection of Gods true nature….but we must attempt to love our brethren
    ….in the pure gentle way God intended. 🙏✝️🛐🌈

    Liked by 1 person

  5. But our population is smaller and the private sector are helping the poor people. Our Vice-President who is not of the same political party as our president is doing a great job helping health workers and the poor.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is nice to see people helping out in whatever way they can on whatever scale/level. That is definitely happening here too….but the sheer volume of those affected is magnanimous. I don’t really blame the ruling government for this crisis and neither do I blame the opposition and individual governments. I don’t really care to digest the politics behind it. It just pains me to see what is happening….

    Like

  7. Absolutely true Zoya….we humans are an arrogant race. Sometimes reminders are good….if we only have good things and ups in life, without the downs and sorrows….we maynever truly appreciate and know the true value of the good things etc. Emotions, feelings can all be very relative, don’t you think so?🤔🌈🤩👀🤷‍♀️

    Like

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