Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people across the world have suffered huge losses. As of now, COVID-19 has taken 293,547 lives and it continues to infect more people worldwide. However, besides the actual disease, casualties are also seen in the form of people who are working on the frontlines, or the ones who are dying from not having enough food and other supplies in this time of crisis.
In India, migrant workers have been worst hit amid the lockdown, as they have no means to fend for themselves anymore. As they move in large numbers to go back to their hometowns, (as living in cities is not even an option anymore for them) without public travel facilities, they're dealing with hunger, exhaustion, and the sheer trauma of having their life uprooted in a jiffy.
For instance, an NDTV reporter recently interviewed an auto driver, Md Jawed who was traveling with his family and relatives from Bhiwandi to Lucknow as living in Bhiwandi wasn't possible for the family anymore. The tempo approximately carried 19-20 people in it.
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Things took a turn for worse when the reporters while returning, spotted the same tempo that they had interviewed earlier that morning. The tempo had met with a gruesome road accident that took the life of the driver on the spot. While some family members were injured and admitted to a nearby hospital. Here take a look at the report.
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The harrowing incident brings to light the horrifying reality of the lives of migrant workers amidst the coronavirus crisis in India. As PM Narendra Modi first announced the first phase of a nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020, without a heads up, the migrant workers in metropolitans started struggling. With a meager, hand-to-mouth income that barely cuts it, meeting needs for weeks to come was next to impossible. In such a scenario, migrant workers in huge numbers had set out to return to their hometowns on foot given the fact that there was no alternative left for them. Walking hundreds of kilometers on foot meant that casualties increased by the day.
This also brings into perspective the fact while some of us are comfortably cooped-up in our houses complaining about the monotony amid the coronavirus crisis, there are people out there struggling to make ends meet in unimaginable ways. Times like these easily highlight the growing difference between the privileged few and millions suffering in the country.
While the government is increasingly looking out to help these workers, the efforts are not enough to help tackle the situation at hand.