onsdag 22. april 2020

Coronavirus in India: Desperate migrant workers trapped in lockdown

Last week, hours after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, thousands of migrant workers gathered near a railway station in Mumbai city. There had been rumours of train services restarting, and the workers had gathered defying rules of social distancing, putting themselves and others at risk.

They demanded that authorities arrange transport to send them back to their hometowns and villages so they could be with their families. The police, instead, used sticks to disperse them. Around the same time, in the western state of Gujarat, hundreds of textile workers protested in Surat city, demanding passage home. And a day later, there was outrage in the capital, Delhi, when several hundred migrants were discovered living under a bridge along the Yamuna river. The river here resembles a sewer and the bank is strewn with rubbish.