Two minute read. Written by Myra Aggarwal – a grade 9 student.
You’re Bored? I May Not Have Food Today.
When the lockdown was established, all of us had so much to complain about, right?
Oh no! I can’t go out with my friends now, I can’t shop, I’m super bored, and so on. But have any of us thought about how the lockdown has affected the poor. Is our survival at risk because of this lockdown? Theirs is. Isn’t that scary? The lockdown is actually a period of recreation and a chance for self-improvement, the only difference is that it is enforced. If you think about it there are so many various things to do like enroll in online classes, learn a new language, take up an instrument you like, workout, cycle, facetime friends you miss, or write! Hell, we can even make money sitting at home.
This is an opportunity for all of us to learn new things, grow, make new habits and rejuvenate. Don’t we all want that? So why are we cribbing? Or do we just choose to watch Netflix all day – “oh it will relieve my lockdown tension”. The poor are the ones facing real tension. While we’re cribbing about our air conditioners not working, they have to worry about how they are going to have food. The poor are prone to hardships as we all know life is not easy for them. They experience economic vulnerability. They have a greater exposure to any issue be it economic social physical or emotional when bad times hit all.
Did you know that the amount of money the UK spends on chocolate each year could make Africa not live in poverty? Isn’t that so very strange? The lack of basic necessities like food, water, shelter, livelihood, education and health that all human beings must have is called Poverty. Around 740 million people in the world belong to extreme poverty. More than 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. People like drivers, maids, autorickshaw drivers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, artisans, street vendors, factory workers, security guards – all of them do not have financial security. For them regularity of income is highly important.
For daily wage worker, a day’s earning and physical work is what gets them through the day. In case of no or low work their financial security is at risk. Like us, they don’t have a stable economic earning, they don’t have the same resources like food and money. The one thing that allowed them to hang onto a shred of dignity was work. And that has been stripped off them. Which one amongst us annoyed of the lockdown have to struggle for our basic needs? Not me.
This is a major problem which has arisen due to the lockdown – a paradox as some may call it as neither can the lockdown be lifted neither can they earn. The situation is incredibly sad and helpless. The national government is responsible for the ration supply. The state government does the execution. Rain beseras are shelter homes for homeless people provided by the government and NGO’s. They are also called night shelters and more of these are being set up and used. In fact, schools too are being turned into rain beseras so that food can be given to the maximum number of people. A whole day goes by. No work. No money. And empty wallets are all they have.
It is times like these where one finds himself questioning existence. The lockdown is simply an inconvenience for us. Whereas for them it means being confined to dingy cells that pass for rented accommodation shared with seven more people. Yet trivial thoughts keep intruding. What if I emerge from the lockdown looking like a cow?
Written by Myra Aggarwal