Migrant workers are the ticking bombs of COVID-19 for rural India

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By Syed Tarafdar Zaman

The sudden call by Prime Minister Modi for a complete lock down of 1.3 billion citizen is been called as a last hope to survive from Corona Virus pandemic. The lockdown decision which is in larger interest of our society unfortunately affected thousands of migrants labors which left them stranded and hungry. A purpose of lockdown which was called to create a social distancing seem to be a failure for thousands of such migrants labors which gathered in large number at Delhi Ghaziabad borders, ISBT bus stand and similar news are coming from other parts of the Country.

A single person that is a carrier of corona virus have potential to affect at least two more people and then this chain of virus carriers start working on similar patter and design similar to real life social media websites users. With rapid speed the virus can multiply into lakhs of such cases. The social networking of virus is so fast that that it will be extremely difficult to track the history of carrier.
In the case of china, the entire focus was on Wuhan city and adjusting cities which was made to put into lockdown as it was center of epidemic. The help start coming from other part of china which was unaffected by virus and by sincere strategy they decided to track down the history of virus carrier and stopped it to spread furthermore, this strategy helped them control the situation.

In case with India, we are getting corona cases news coming from different part of the country. If the pandemic of virus spread then India will have a totally different situation in contrast to china. If it spread then in India we have to fight a war on multiple cities which will be extremely difficult to get under control.

The purpose of lockdown is to “Flattening the curve” of the cases. In 1918 USA faced an influenza pandemic and Philadelphia city ignored the warning of social distancing. They did not took precautions seriously and twenty thousand people took part in the parade. The after effect was disastrous, every bed in Philadelphia state was full and 4500 people died in a week. On the other hand St. Louis another city in USA practiced complete lockdown and number of cases was extremely low.
Social distancing is till now best way to fight this virus until the anti-dote comes out in market. But this solution is been discussed in foreign media since February end but here in India our government leaders were busy organizing cow urine party and later mock drills by clashing utensils which again was risky as metal is the best carrier of virus.

As thousands of migrant workers are heading towards Bihar and Utter Pradesh on bare foots, risk of virus getting spread in different corner of India arise. Government should take urgent steps to lockdown this crowd in stadiums or open fields until there medical check is done.
Many of these are accompanying with small children and senior citizen which put there life in risk and already news are coming 17 migrant workers died as they met accident on return journey to there homeland and few had heart attack by getting executed after walking bare foot.
Pm Modi apologized to the nation while urging them to understand that he have no other option. I had to take certain decisions which have put you in lots of difficulty, especially when i look at my poor brother and sister” PM Modi said on nationwide radio on Sunday. They must be thinking what kind of prime minister is this who placed us in this difficulty. I seek their forgiveness ”

The chaos take back us to the memories of demonetization when PM Modi eliminated 80 % of hard currency from market without any proper planning which resulted in similar kind of mayhem.

The cities were built on the hard labor and exploitation of migrant workers, but they never entered the consciousness of native of those cities. instead, they are considered part of the problem in cities and outsiders. The politicians ignores them because they dont count as votes, especially in the case of inter-state migrants. They are consider as burden on the cities. On regular day they work hard without having any basic safety kits like pollution mask, eye glasses or gloves even after working on sites like cement factory, constructions sites and chemical factories. Yelling and unnecessary scolding is a common habit which every supervisor practice on them, at night they return at their respective rented slums without cities even noticing them.

The Indian labor market, however, remains characterized by high levels of segmentation and informality. Of the total employed in 2011—12, more than half (51.4 per cent, or 206 million people) were self-employed, and of the 195 million wage earners, 62 per cent (i.e. 121 million) were employed as casual workers. Employment in the organized sector has grown, but even in this sector many jobs have been casual or informal. This complete sudden lockdown has affected the migrants workers and daily wage the most.
These migrants workers who are returning back to there villages are potential carrier of virus. The corona virus is yet to reached to rural part of the country but if these migrant workers are not stopped then it will be too late. If they return back without medical clearance then they will put entire village life in danger.

The social media is divided and some are already blaming Delhi State Chief Minister Arwind Kejirwal for this situation as Kejirwal could not able to convince migrant workers to stay at their respective places. Others are putting blame on Yogi Government and as they promise to arranged 1,000 buses to ferry migrant laborers who are stranded on the border districts owing to a countrywide lockdown. This mismanagement crisis could not arise if proper guidelines were given where and when these buses will be available.
The purpose of the 21 days lockdown is flattening the curve of expansion of the virus. If we could not able to control the mobilization of Labors workers then the lockdown will have to extend for another 3 moths, which will result into a stressful situation.

The choas that we see clearly gives an impression that our government woke up very late from their sleep , whereas planning to counter the virus should have been started since early march.

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