Can You Feed Me?
Can You Feed Me?
A CHILD WAS CRYING.
A BILLOWING CRY, it came from the gut of her stomach. She didn’t wear any dress, naked. She walked slowly on the mud floor under a small tent, to chase her parents. Mud stuck on her arms and legs. She had a runny nose. Nobody cared to wipe it. Her parents were there, but they had many problems to worry about. They were talking with neighborhood families, all were staying very close. You can see at least four hundred tents there, not more than a meter distance between each tent, which was not made of tarpaulin, but plastic covers. The plastic covers had wears and tears. They all migrant laborers who came from northern states like Odisha, Bihar. You name it. There were close to a thousand five hundred people are living here, daily wage workers, hardly earn three hundred rupees per day if they had worked at all. All were brought for Metro rail project work (also there are construction workers in other areas), but this project was closed due to coronavirus outbreak. Meant, they can’t earn a penny now on. When they heard about 21 days lock-down they knew they were in big trouble. They started worrying about the livelihood of their families, let alone anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been four days since the lock-down has started. Already they are scratching their heads to find twenty rupees to buy milk for their kids. Maybe the elders can understand the lock-down and stop taking food for at least a few days by only drinking water. But can you stop the infants from crying for hunger?
Do they know anything about coronavirus? No. In fact, if they don’t eat, they won’t have immunity to fight against the coronavirus. So how the government gonna stop this struggle. We know it is mandatory to follow the complete lock-down, but who is gonna ensure that these families don’t die in hunger, which is a very lethal weapon than the coronavirus in taking lives. The doctors claim that the people who are healthy and taking proper diet can be saved from this deadly virus. So, why not we focus on giving good nutrients to the people who are lying on the streets without jobs in hand? Can you imagine the danger if anyone gets positive to the coronavirus, it can spread to others in a quick march. Even the mortality rate will take its toll because they didn’t have taken food for all these days. It is such a terrible equation to solve. So the government should take the necessary steps to take care of them during this lock-down. Also, we don’t know if those migrant laborers are aware of what’s going on here, due to language problems. So, it is mandatory to send health officials to speak in their languages to let them know about the COVID-19 and the seriousness of the situation, not to scare them but to educate them. That is a much-needed action to be taken right now. Also, this is the right moment for the government to infuse cleanliness in the state, the untreated sewage can be channeled properly, the spillover garbage can be collected to keep the streets clean, also restrain people from spitting on the roads and urinating on the public places which are still a major health concern in the society. Bring strict punishments against people who don’t heed to the government’s instructions, put a fine of 500 rupees and 1000 rupees for spitting on the roads and urinating respectively. Also, ensure the e-toilets are available at every 500 meters so that people don’t give excuses to the police. If we can ensure the cleanliness of our public places, the virus spread can be halted immediately. Impart a good amount of education on being sanity, so that their family and the public can be free from any diseases. This is the right time for us, to learn and strive forward on personal hygiene. This is not the time to panic, but to think ourselves how effectively we can lead a good life and also guide others to follow it. That is the real education. Now onwards, the government should give special attention to allocating budget for our healthcare and ensuring the cleanliness of our society. People should realize the importance of it and help the government in taking action. If we can do it, no virus can harm us from living a healthy life.