The nationwide lockdown in India due to the coronavirus outbreak has been adversely affecting it’s mass of the population- the daily wage working class. The lockdown has shut down their opportunities to go out and work to earn. Most of them are migrants. The workers are now going out on the roads with their families to go back to their homelands. They have started to set off on foot, which suggests their dire desperation.
At present, the total recorded cases in India have touched the 1000+ mark and it has made the matter more severe. However, the matters would get worse on other sides too. the daily wagers have been experiencing great struggles in providing for their families and the shut down has really posed a threat to their survival, let alone the coronavirus fear.
Earlier, on Thursday the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had issued a public declaration to raise 1.70lacs crores rupees from the Prime Minister’s Gareeb Kalyan Scheme to provide for the immediate needs of these people. Each such family would get 5 kgs of extra rice or wheat in addition to the existing entitled ration of 5 kgs of grain. The scheme was enforced so that they do not starve in the midst of the lockdown. This was estimated for approximately 80 crore people falling under that certain financial condition that qualifies them to get benefits from the scheme.
Additionally, a sum of 50 lacs is said to be kept aside for 3 months for those health workers who are relentlessly working to wipe away COVID-19.
Ironically, on March 28, on Delhi and UP border a mass of migrant workers was seen with their families who had set their journey on foot towards their villages because there was no transport to do so. The PM took a day to arrange around 1000 buses to sent them home.
Migrant workers leaving for their homes in Uttar Pradesh. The state govt finally provided them busses to travel to their homes. pic.twitter.com/yDSsDbMC5w
— Fareeha Iftikhar (@Iftikharfariha) March 28, 2020
Before he made arrangements, people all over the social media requested Narendra Modi to look for an option to send them back. There were pledges over Instagram Live, long descriptive Facebook posts addressed to the PM. Meanwhile, a 10th standard student, directly emailed Modi without making many public posts on social media.
Abhinav wrote a letter to PM Modi and asked him to make it compulsory for the religious groups to give away at least 80% of their funds during such tough times.
Abhinav Kumar Sharma, a class 10th student of St. Joseph’s Academy in #Dehradun has written a letter to PM @narendramodi suggesting a solution to overcome economic breakdown post-pandemic #coronavirus. @PMOIndia #CoronavirusLockdown pic.twitter.com/BNMtof8OWI
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay07) March 28, 2020
“This health emergency will surely lead to a financial emergency due to which labourers would be on the verge of starvation. I, therefore, request you to kindly make it mandatory for all religious trusts, irrespective of their religion, to donate 80% amount of ‘God’s wealth’ to the country by giving this to the PM relief fund,” Abhinav wrote in the letter.
The 15-year-old boy, from Dehradun, goes to the renowned St. Joseph’s Academy. He rightly expressed his belief that if religious groups and trusts can release funds and offer to help in a situation like this then India does not need to declare or arrange emergency funds.
“When I saw our PM folding hands and requesting the nation, I realized our religious trusts have a lot of money. If Church, Mandir, Gurudwara, and Masjid trusts can donate money, it will be of great help to the poor,” Abhinav told Times Now.
He expressed his concern that if India does not act now, it will not take much time to enter stage IV and that will really increase the death toll among the poor sections of the society. The reason will be, however, more due to starvation and not the virus.
“Number of people would be on the verge of starvation. Later, this lockdown will lead to scarcity of government funds and affect the lower middle class and middle class badly,” said Abhinav.
He really deserves to be heard and PM should show an affirmative signal.
Kudos to Abhinav!