Struggle of a cook and a father
Biplab Das, INN/Kolkata, @Biplaboriginal
COVID-19 has lead to a nationwide lockdown as a step to deter the spread of the corona virus which has infected over 1 lakh 39 thousand people and took life of over 4000 people in India.
The nationwide lockdown was enforced by the centre on 24th march and has been the major deterrent against corona virus.
Yet, this lockdown caused a major turbulence in the daily lives of people throughout all classes of people in India. People from different walks of life lost their source of income. The most affected of all are the people working on daily wages.
Carpenters, mechanics, labors, domestic help, cooks, plumbers, electricians and many more, who were employed on daily basis, lost their source of incomes.
Many of these daily wage workers are migrant workers who have migrated from their homes to big cities like Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai, for a better living. But now with the enforced lockdown, most of them have lost their earnings. Without any work, many of these are leaving for their homes.
But some had decided to stay. One of them is Santosh. Santosh is domestic cook who used to work as professional cook in peoples home in Chennai. He hails from Bihar and is living in Chennai since 2011.
He, like other daily wage worker lost his earning following lockdown as people have stopped calling him for work as a cook in their housed. Santosh lives in Chennai with his wife and 2 kids. Prior to lockdown, he was a popular cook, working as a cook at many houses.
But after the lockdown, he was asked not to come anymore by all of his former employers. Once household name in many localities in Chennai went to total oblivion and lost all of his sources of earning.
But, the father of three didn’t give up. He fought for survival and for his family. He started selling snacks in the local areas. Samosa, Chiwda and pakodi’s being his specialty. He invested last of his savings in the venture.
But this venture lasted only two weeks. The reasons were the same old, the corona virus and the lockdown. People have distanced themselves from the outside, including street food due to corona virus.
People who used to laud his cooking once have now restricted themselves to their homes, due to the fear of corona virus. Santosh himself stopped working on this due to no profit and due to the increasing number of cases of corona virus in Chennai.
Now, Santosh and many more like him are all unemployed. When asked about the help provided from government, he said, “Only medical workers came to check the spread of corona virus.
No help is being provided otherwise. Police is not letting them go to any place. Some of my friends were being beaten when they tried to run away back to Bihar.
No food is being provided to us from the administration. Nothing from local government or from Bihar government for migrants, who are working outside the state.”
Many people like Santosh are struggling all over the country due to COVID-19. The government is taking steps and allotting millions of rupees for workers and labors but there are thousands of people who are still waiting for the help from government.