When ordering the lockdown, did the government not remember the millions of informal workers and destitute people who would have no work if they stayed home, many of them circular migrants, estimated at 100 million? These include casual daily-wage workers; self-employed people such as rag-pickers, rickshaw pullers and street vendors; and people forced to survive by alms.

Many among them are people whose earnings each day barely suffice to enable them to eat and feed their families. Does the government expect them to voluntarily starve and let their children die to prevent the spread of the infection? This crisis of hunger is even more dire for older people without caregivers, and persons with disability. The government also seems to be in amnesia about hundreds of thousands of children, women and men in every city whose only home is the pavement or the dirt patches under bridges.

Each citizen of our country has the right to dignity. Karwan e Mohabbat has been on ground, trying to get ration to those in need, with dignity and respect.

The Endless Walk To Reach Home | #LockdownIndia | Karwan e Mohabbat

“We would have died of hunger anyway in the city. We will now die on the road back to our homes. We have no choice but to go back home on foot now.” Said a migrant worker from Bihar as he and his family set out, on foot from Delhi, back to their village in Bihar.

We should not accept a policy which may save the rich and middle classes, but throws the poor to hunger, diseases and uncertainty. We don’t win a war against #Coronavirus by creating the worst humanitarian crisis since Partition. There must be a rethink. Rich and poor must sink or swim together.

Who is responsible for the mass exodus on our highways after the announcement of the 21-day lockdown?

Listen to the chronology of how the #Lockdown was ruptured.

Reaching The Last in Line | #LockdownIndia | Karwan e Mohabbat

On Tuesday, the Narendra Modi government announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. With no work and lack of money, thousands of homeless struggle to find food during the lockdown.

“The state is bereft of public compassion, the capacity and the will to stand equally with us all, rich and poor. I met some of these ‘last persons’ today. The measures the state has opted for may possibly protect you and me, but for her, they will only destroy her possibilities of dignified and hopeful survival.”

Harsh Mander takes us through the parts of Delhi where the homeless live.

Reaching the last in line | Harsh Mander appeals for help

Our country is probably facing its biggest crisis since partition and the Bengal famine of 1943. The scale of migration and hunger triggered by the lockdown is devastating lives.

Join us to reach out to those who have been left stranded by the #lockdown, appeals Harsh Mander on behalf of all the civil society initiatives who are working to provide basic food to the homeless, poor and out-of-work migrant labour in the country.