It seems that the woes of the working class are far from ever. As Delhi called for a lockdown again, migrant workers have been left in a dilemma. It was after a brave struggle of almost a year that they had started working again, thinking that life would continue as usual. But the virus had other plans, as it came back stronger with its second wave. As the numbers of positive cases are on a rise, it is leaving the respective state governments with no other option than to call for lockdowns. The Union government had earlier left it over the states to take a decision on state lockdowns if and wherever necessary. As such many states have called for partial lockdowns or night curfews as a precautionary measure before the cases go out of control. But if the trend of positive cases continues to go on a rampage, it will be not long before the other states following Delhi. The lockdown might be able to contain the spread of the virus but is wreaking havoc on the lives of daily wage earners. Additionally, it is also affecting the business establishments and trade markets which fuel the state’s local economy. However, the migrant workers are the worst hit with curfews, lockdowns and confusions all around. For instance, after the announcement of lockdown in Delhi, thousands of migrant workers were seen queuing up at railway and bus stations. Though the chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, with folded hands, requested everyone to not leave Delhi in panic, yet the plea seems to have fallen in deaf ears. Having said this, the previous experience of lockdown is an experience enough for them. Notably, thousands of migrant workers had to fend for themselves and even walk hundreds of kilometres to reach the safety of home, in the infamous lockdown of 2020. To add to it, people seem to be aware of the fact that the Union government, through its recent amendment of the NCT act, has more say in the state than the chief minister. In a way, people in Delhi might have been suffering more in general than the other states. With the cat and mouse fight between the Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party over NCT and the role of Lieutenant Governor in state affairs, the people in Delhi had to fend for themselves after the lockdown 2020. And once again the decision of announcing a lockdown for six days seems to be done more in haste and panic than strategic. The Kejriwal-led government has, for now at least, has no mechanism in place to deal with the inconveniences of lockdown. For even if he requested people to remain in Delhi, it failed to provide any support or help to the migrant workers and daily wage earners for the mentioned period of days. Nevertheless, amidst all this, the virus seems to be spreading fast in the nation. However, the Union government now allowing all adults to be vaccinated from May 1 and the partial as well as full lockdown calls given by various states, might help in curbing the virus menace in the coming days. Or at least we all seem to be praying for it!
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