Full show: (India’s story starts at 1 min 28 seconds)
“(So are you afraid of anything?) Yes, I am afraid. If we die at home, it’s not a problem. If we die here, no one will take care of us, right? I have not returned to my village in seven months. I have not seen anyone from home. I want to go home.” – An Indian migrant worker
“People are walking very large distances, like from Southern part of India to Northern part, about 1,200 km – 2,200 km stretches of walk. I mean there’s more people walking on the streets than in the partition time of India when we had our independence. So it’s one of the most important times in the human history of India.” – Yashaswini, filmmaker
“India has one of the best public distribution systems of food (grain). Actually. It’s one of the largest [in the world]. And it’s not an actual issue of availability. There’s a lot of food stored. But the issue is actually supplying.” – Danny Marks, Assistant Professor of Environ. Studies, Dept. of Asian & Int. Studies, CityU HK
“I would also say social distancing was a big problem. They couldn’t actually stay apart from each other when you’re living with your whole family or living with neighbours in a very close quarter. You know, forget about they being able to wash their hands every day. They’d be lucky if they have access to water at all.” – Sweta Daga, journalist
“I’m in a highly contaminated city and the problem with this city is that the contamination is only growing because you are not diagnosing the problem and you’re not pulling out the infected patients.” – Sonali, filmmaker
In this week’s show, we looked at the world’s second most populous country, India. Currently, it has the fourth-highest number of Covid-19 cases globally, and the highest number in Asia. India, home to 1.3 billion people, is currently undergoing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.
Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown, giving just four hours’ notice, in late March, millions of migrant workers have been stranded in major cities without money, food or employment. Factories, construction sites and banks are closed. Many people were completely unprepared for the sudden lockdown.
They have not only been battling the virus but are also facing food shortages and lack of timely information from the Indian authorities. The outbreak has become a humanitarian crisis for the country’s poorest.
Archive link at RTHK (2020-06-19):