Lockin-lockout : The Tragedy Of A Long March In The Times of Corona

The whole world is witnessing an unprecedented surge of humanity ,a mass exodus on the border and roads of Delhi,UP, Uttarakhand and Bihar while people are also undertaking terribly long marches from Rajasthan and Gujarat to their homes thousands of miles away.Not that these hapless people underestimate Novel Covid,it’s only that they are making a hard choice to survive.The state has deserted them in the hour of crisis in far away lands where they make the GDP and make in India, a reality. Suddenly an announcement comes at Eight ‘o clock on the 23rd of March that the country enters a lockin from midnight that day.No supporting measures are announced, no GOI orders are issued to make the lock in workable for a large migrant daily-wage population of Delhi and other states.The landlords start throwing them out and the local shops refuse them credit.The choice is stark , either die from hunger in lock in or die from Corona on the road.The big chunk of trapped humanity makes an extraordinary decision,not to die from hunger in far away lands but to face death and Corona in their native place.
The long march ,longest and largest in the last seventy years in the world history,starts due to the callousness of the very people whom they have chosen as their Fate -determinants(bhagya Vidhata).It is the same callousness which caused untold suffering to the masses due to Notebandi and now a sudden announcement of Deshbandi, without collateral measures creates an unprecedented Exodus of people living at the edge but people who are the bulwork and cutting edge of make in India.Their Governers see them from their own telescopes with an assumption that anyone can remain hold up inside for 21 days or more and if they don’t have bread than cakes can be eaten.
It’s only when people come on the roads with women , Children and infants without anything to sustain them on their way home thousands of kms away that the desperation and magnitude of this man-made tragedy,after Bengal-famine during world war2,dawns upon powers in decision making at the highest leve.Then schools begin to be converted into sheltars and food is understood as a necessity.As late as 29th of March MHA issues an order to help migrants, restrain the landlords and provide transport.
But damage has already been done to the cause fighting Corona Crisis through a well thought out plan of lock in to break the transmission chain of this highly infectious Virus as in the absence of the clinical and humanitarian measure people were bound to take to the roads and increasing the possibility of infection exponentially.
Clinically also , unlike South Korea,efforts were not made to stop the Virus at the airports by undertaking a through testing and quarranting there and then only to be followed by following their chain of contacts as well.But for this ,sadly due to the lack of vision or indifference,even doctors and paramedical staff lacke the testing kits and proper suits at the scale of requirement in a calamity of this magnitude and fatality.
We request all our friends to stay indoors but donate generously for the people who find trapped in this situation while Govts,both Centre and States, should tackle this crisis at both the levels,i.e. clinical and humanitarian. Otherwise the country would face an unprecedented but avoidable human loss and suffering!
By : Dr. Aditya Narayan Misra