The Lockdown Reality
Ever since childhood, we have considered India to be one nation. The Constitution guarantees rights to every citizen of our country without any discrimination on any basis. But does our society really allow everyone to practice these rights?
On 25 March 2020 at 8pm, PM Modi announced the first phase of lockdown. From midnight, the country went into a lull. The citizens were given 4 hours to understand, accept, and react to the lockdown. During these four hours, while the rich people of the country were busy stocking up food supplies and other essentials, there was another section of the society who was still unaware of the lockdown. Even if they were aware, they did not have the resources to fill their homes with essentials. For some, there were no homes also. They did not have much savings, there was no source of money, and they had the responsibility of their loved ones. Future looked grim and uncertain. Labourers of our country form this section if the society.
Lockdown was announced to prevent country from CORONA but the guidelines were followed by the financially strong section of the society. Be it the norms of social distancing or isolation, only rich practiced it because they could afford to do so. They did not have to worry about the next meal, money, or being cramped in a 10*10 room.
From 26 March 2020 till date, everyday thousands of labourers are seen walking and cycling hundreds of kilometres, sitting on roofs of trucks, risking their lives every single day because it is the only hope left for them. Pregnant women, young children, aged men and women, differently abled, all are walking in the glimmer of hope that they will somehow reach their home and feel safe. They have no food or water, have boils on their legs, they get beaten by police forces at times, their soul is broken but they are still walking. Hundreds of labourers died in road accidents and crores of them are scarred for life. They are aware that death follows them every day they are on the road but they are ready to take a chance because the only other option left is to die waiting for help, which may never come.
As a society, we have failed them. Our administration has failed them. Our response towards the plights of labourers has proved that India is not one nation. It is divided between rich and poor, where lives of poor do not matter. Society has turned a blind eye towards them, their tears mean nothing, and their cries are falling on deaf ears. And all this happened just because they want to go HOME - the safest place on earth where one feels loved, secure, and away from worries. The labourers just want to go home, be with their loved one, and feel safe. As a society, we should ponder on- Are they asking for too much?