When India was put under complete lockdown for 21 days on March 24, 2020, to break the chain COVID-19 transmission, it became an inconvenience for everyone. Amid everything in the current chaos, the worst affected were the migrant workers on daily-wage labor in major cities across the country. The following days witnessed a mass exodus of people with no source of income, no shelter, no food, no water and no means of transport traveling on foot to reach their homes.
The lockdown has brought more than 139 million migrant workers on-road walking as many as 800 km to reach their hometowns. These people who earn as less as $1 a day through manual labor in the cities are now left with nothing to stay while most of them have been evicted by their landlords for defaulting to pay their rents.
With millions of people on the road, the risk of transmission of the virus is extremely high. The Government of India has estimated that 3 out of 10 people might carry the virus to their native places from the cities. To curb this from happening all means of transports were shut on March 24 and these people were left facing unimaginably difficult circumstances.
To bring the country and its people out of this dystopian situation, all of us need to work together. Each of us who has the resources must contribute towards helping the people left without any source of income and facing an acute lack of food and water. People privileged enough to have the option of working from home can manage to make through these highly difficult times by staying in isolation. But there is no option of working from home for millions of people who have no home at the moment.
In a bid to aid these people to make through the lockdown and prevent them from causing a massive outbreak across the country, the Government has set a PMCare fund to provide relief resources to the migrant workers. This includes providing the people with shelter, food, water and every necessary amenity required to survive the 21-day long lockdown.
Smile Foundation is also working relentlessly towards doing its part in providing relief to underprivileged people by providing them with dry food items. The kit will consist of food, medicines, soap, and sanitizer for people to maintain both health and hygiene. In addition to this, teleconsultation of the existing beneficiaries of Smile’s health vertical will be conducted to keep a track of their health. People will be connected with digitally by Smile on Wheels agents and a record of their health conditions will be maintained. They will also be referred to a doctor or medical institution in case of a medical emergency.
The lockdown has made it difficult for Smile to look after its beneficiaries but we strive not to let them be alone in this fight against the invisible enemy that has taken the world by storm. A situation like this requires us all to come together to help the most helpless overcome the difficulties alongside ourselves.
Let’s join the movement to fight COVID-19 together and make healthier and happier India!