The dominant theme, it goes without saying, is the Coronavirus lockdown. A period of time in our lives that we certainly didn’t see coming. News channels, those who are still concerned about journalism and not its mockery are calling it an intelligence failure.
Time and again we’ve been told and we’ve been fed timely updates about how serious the situation is and just how bad things are getting out there for the masses. With the 21-day period of lockdown seeming endlessly slow and testing, well that’s the truth for most of us- there’s another truth that truly explains the gravity of the situation.
Although, the point is that many of us may not be gifted enough to understand. Not because we don’t have the intelligence or receptivity but simply because we don’t have the existential struggles and everyday mutinies to beat, for which ours aren’t even an iota of the plight that many are currently facing.
The thing is, never before has the importance of food been as important and seemed precious as what we’re seeing given food for migrants during the Coronavirus crisis.
And that’s the real cause of concern. To the privileged lot in India, the problem is still, frankly speaking, about having it all in plenty. But that isn’t the case with the marginalized.
The ones who worry about the rising costs of living anyways and sustain themselves through daily wages. The ones whose families are probably stashed away in a tizzy of nervousness and fear, and above anything- the concerns that stem from not knowing enough and unpredictability of life.
To make it worse, many daily wage workers and migrant workers who are in the urban jungles of India- okay, sorry, let’s call them cities- are probably the only bread earners of their families, which in many cases, are in the hinterland.
When do they see them, communicate with them on an individual level, only time knows. The borders of Indian states have been sealed several hours back.
Movement is next to a bare minimum except in cases where sad stories about chunks of people deciding to walk it down to their respective rural homes find a way through to our heart, beating nonsense WhatsApp-driven propaganda.
Against these existential woes, ever pondered about a question:
Ever wondered how might the condition be for those who are desperately seeking rations; hence, food for migrants during the Coronavirus crisis?
Apparently, this point in time, another concern that is fast taking shape and holding new ground is the worry whether enough food is or can be made available to the migrant workers.
For if this isn’t done, according to the words of Pronab Sen, a former Chief Statistician with the Govt. of India, there could be another foreseeable crisis around the corner.
And frankly, with the country having witnessed one crisis after another- let’s not forget the bloodied and vengeful communal riots that inflamed the national capital just days before the arrival of the dreaded Coronavirus- there’s no question that India cannot afford another one.
So what can happen? And what did Mr. Sen suggest which points to a possible new concern, which well let’s hope, doesn’t come to the foray.
According to a media report published on LiveMint, the former statistician and economist had the following to say:
The problem is that if food is not made available (to migrant workers) and this, we have experienced in this country earlier, we had food riots during the times of famine.
“…we could have food riots again if food is not made available. Let’s be clear about this!”
That being said, he didn’t stop there. The following statement highlighted the true concern which he alerted the country about:
If supply system doesn’t come unstuck, if the requirements of people who have no income are not met then food riots are very real possibility.
That being said, how important is food for migrants during the Coronavirus crisis can be simply understood by the swift measures the Delhi government has taken already.
So what are these and what should you definitely know?
In lines with the current Coronavirus epidemic, the country reeling with a state of lockdown (until further notice), the Delhi government of Aam Aadmi Party has apparently declared a point of action.
Food will be fed to nearly 4,000,00 people at as many as 325 schools and 224 night-shelters, the latter also known as Rain Basera’ (run by the government).
Hats off then, right?