India’s abrupt lockdown orders cause migration crisis


Many of India’s informal workforce of 450 million people - 90% of the total workforce - were abruptly closed out of their places of employment when prime minister Narendra Modi abruptly ordered a lockdown in April. Left without pay, unable to stay in their living conditions, and with only limited train service available, many workers began walking back to their home states. Along the way, police are punishing them for failing to obey the quarantine and social distancing rules; others are dying in vehicle accidents or starvation. The Supreme Court has rejected a plea to provide food and shelter for the migrants, saying that such efforts should be left to the states. The monsoon season may bring a second wave; the crisis is being described as the worst since the Partition in 1947.

Writer: Nitish Pahwa
Publication: Slate

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