Saif sent a WhatsApp
Govt has locked down for more than a fortnight. Every shop and store has been closed. Transport is stopped. Govt announced 3000 for daily waged labours for one month. All mundies and general working places have been closed. Daily, up to a hundred corona cases are increasing. So-called ration (food) providing program announced. One kg sugar, one kg cooking oil, and one-fourth of kg pulses and cereals are enough for each family. People are weeping to come out. Their children are hungry. They have money to pay utility bills. There is a shortage of sugar and flour. Corrupt politicians and influential groups are involved. People sent their request for money at the recommendation of Govt. by SMS. But, only a return message comes – you are eligible for relief money- but no money comes anyway.
Hungry people are looting food supply trucks. What can they do other than snatch food for their families? No proper teams are visiting the villages and towns and there is too lockdown. Police are there to arrest and charge the defaulters and the violating… Corona cases have increased from 800 to 4000 within twenty days in spite of lockdown. Govt has decided to prolong lockdown up to 25 April. Schools are closed. The best program given by Govt for education online is to send notes on WhatsApp only. I myself have observed many families in my town who are confined in homes without food or any money despite Govt claim of providing money and food to each poor family who is daily wages earner and can’t earn due to coronavirus. Strange helplessness is there.
On mobiles message comes- contact district administration for money to receive. But how can people discover this hidden district administration?
How can they reach when transport is stopped? People are not allowed to come out! Police are patrolling and arresting those who violate! People are waiting for Godot- and Godot will never come.
If there is no vaccine or rapidly effective medicine, Govt shouldn’t confine people to their homes. First people be given masks and gloves to wear and allowed to come to markets. There must be teams at the town level for an aggressive check-up of people. They must be sorted out. And quarantined to mosques, schools, colleges and village health centres. So that the suspects may be checked and cured, as is the policy. The vendors must be allowed to reach the streets and sell the vegetable etc home to home. Teams for flour bags distribution be made… The team members should go house to house and sell the flour. This can be done…but by just locking down or confining people in homes and closing shops the situation will worsen instead.
Govt can form a team of young volunteers with safety kits and post them in markets. They can have orders on SMS and take food etc to the public houses.
Teams of social workers and union council staff can do this easily.