Lockdown: Homeless longs for people to return

Safiullah has been sitting on the roadside for hours waiting for kind-hearted people to show up and help him eat. the man in late seventies hails from Faizabad lives under the Jamia metro bridge. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Words stammer and eyes fill as Safiullah reveals not many have turned up on the streets who would reach out to provide him food. The elderly man in his late seventies lives under the Jamia metro bridge living on the mercy of kind hearts. he wears the mask given by volunteers and longs for people on the empty road. 

With national lockdown griping all way of livelihood, starvation fear stands above Corona crisis for the homeless. Undocumented and displaced, millions of underprivileged are strangled by the Corona crisis, joining the world in an uncertain future. 

There are 1.77 million homeless people in India who are strangled in the lockdown. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

“The baby needs milk and a feeding bottle,” a woman points to the sleeping baby who she claims is ill. She among others are clueless about the developments in the world apart from rumours about a deadly disease. The family along with half a dozen others camped near Jamia metro station a busy junction till last Saturday. 

Hundreds of migrant workers from nearby states are walking home from Delhi due to surprise lockdown which primarily didn’t give clarity about financial aids for the millions living in poverty. Although the Delhi government have Opened shelter houses for the homeless. The people say they are unaware of such centres nearby. 

Migrant workers fleeing amidst strict lockdown in south Delhi. Photo: Shaheen Abdulla/ Maktoob

As the government took time to give clarity about the poor majorities of the nation, hundreds of volunteers are have initiated to setup emergency relief work for the affected. The finance minister on Thursday announced 1.7 lakh crore worth scheme for poor on Thursday.  Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Scheme, aimed at taking care of the poor, urban and rural workers, and those in need of immediate attention.

Reports of police aggression and assault on Civilians who stepped out of the house for various needs piles up around the country with one killed in such brutality in West Bengal. Though the PM said that lockdown will end after three weeks, health experts and international reports suggest India will have to push the restrictions until May or even more. 

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