The visuals of a man in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, scooping spilled milk on the road and collecting in his earthen pot has again bring forth the debate on the vulnerability of the country’s poor population — and how prepared India was before announcing the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus?
As the country enters in the next phase of the lockdown, expected to be entended till end-April, in a viral video on social media platforms, a man can be seen scrambling for milk with a pack of stray dogs in Agra’s Ram Bagh Chauraha. At the crossroad, a large milk container had overturned today morning, sending a stream of milk down the road, just six km from the Taj Mahal.
On 24 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced at 8 pm about the 21-day nationwide lockdown to be followed from that midnight. The lockdown, which critics say was severely unplanned, has created much torublesome for the country’s poor population. And in one of the major fallouts is been seen among the country’s migrant laborer population.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) said last week that 40 crore Indians working in the informal economy risk falling deeper into poverty during the crisis. The central government has announced direct cash transfers and food subsidies to help some 80 crore people.
By far, there have been more than 9,300 positive cases of COVID-19 in the country and nearly 330 people have died.