On 24th March 2020 at 8PM our Prime Minister Respected Narendra Modi ji announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days that was to take effect in the next 4 hours i.e. 12PM. This was done in order to combat the deadly Corona Virus.
Since the disease was first detected in India we all were anticipating it, however in absence of any clear guidelines most of us went about our daily routines and subsequent to the above announcement entire country came to a standstill with a notice period of 4 hours.
The mayhem that followed was unprecedented, with workplaces shut and with that the sources of livelihood for the marginalised. They had no one to fall back to and this started a mass migration to their home states. This migration was something that continues to surpass to the migration that happened in 1947 i.e. The Partition.
- According to one World Bank estimate approximately 40 million people will be migrating from their workplaces to home states. While during Partition 12 million estimated people crossed borders in both directions.
- As of 16th May 2020 Indian Railways has operated 1,074 Shramik Special trains ferrying more than 14 lakh workers. While during partition between August and November 1947 around 673 refugee trains transported 28 lakh people.
- As per a recent survey of 18,000 households across 10 states in India since the lockdown, they have found that most of the above have lost 60% of their Income in April 2020, 20% have already run out of money and supplies and a further 60% will run out in next 2 weeks.
- The lockdown most definitely has not flattened the curve and nor has it reduced the growth but we have been able to buy some time to fight the disease.
- Lockdown 4 has resumed most of the economic activity with questionable availability of manpower. However there is simply no other way but to resume economic activity and learn to live with the virus because we got to be ‘AATMANIRBHAR’
Cambridge Dictionary defines Hindsight as: The ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened.
In view of the above facts we can now in hindsight state the following:
- Due to this virus other countries has started imposing lockdown much before ours. Government had some idea what had happened in other countries and what needed to be done to make lockdown less painful. It should have done a better anticipatory analysis.
- The Government could have allowed the trains/buses to run to ferry labour/people to their home states after announcing the lockdown. Lakhs could have been saved of the hardships of the ardours journey home.
- Now when Lakhs are returning home thru the Shramik Special Trains, there are more virus carriers than what would have been if they were bought back home in March itself and yes this should in no way disqualify them from going back home.
How many generations will it take to wipe out the suffering of millions of our migratory fellow citizens? To the lives lost, to the dreams erased and to find answers to questions that could never find a voice.