Pratibha Das Purkhyasta, a Diphu Municipal Commissioner, on Sunday tried to manhandle a poor woman from her ward who sought grocery items during a Government-sanctioned distribution program for the daily-wage laborers in the region. Purkhayashtha reportedly charged them when they asked why they are not getting the relief materials as sanctioned by the Government amid the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In a video of the incident that is now being circulated on social media, the lady can be seen charging towards the people who are recording the incident on video. Then, the labourers appeal the Commissioner to behave in a proper manner. Then, an altercation between the official and the beneficiaries takes place and a hue-and-cry ensues during the distribution ceremony.
This recent incident in Karbi Anglong's Diphu has brought to light the deplorable condition of the poor amid the 21-day lockdown. The Government-imposed lockdown, meant to check the spread of the novel coronavirus has become the subject of controversy for its abrupt nature. The Prime Minister, addressing the nation at large, announced that everything would have to be shut within 3 hours. Several crore migrant labourers, hundreds of kilometres away from their homes and families, were stricken with panic. Besides, the poor hand-to-mouth laborers, who cannot
For instance, last week, a two-year-old child died in Tripura after her parents could not put a meal together for her. In several Indian states, the plight of migrant laborers walking home has been highlighted, with the hosing of laborers in UP with "disinfectants" gaining notoriety.
News18 reports that migrant worker Bala Subramani Logesh, who had decided to walk back with 26 others to his home in Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district from Wardha in Maharashtra with his friends, died after walking around 500 kms. On March 29, Scroll reported that as many as 22 have died while trying to get back home during the lockdown, and there is reason to believe that the the number could rise higher.
Society, in these moments of crisis has been divided into two: those who can afford the shutdown and those who have been stripped of their daily wages, and thus, have to look towards the Governments to feed them. However, a clear rift exists between those in power and those who look upto them for survival.
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