Hyderabad: The state government recently announced a relief package for the “poorest of the poor” who have been hit hard by the loss of jobs and income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Although it stopped short of announcing a lump sum amount as cash transfer into the accounts of needy. Plus, there are hundreds of poor families living in the outskirts of Hyderabad who have no support from the government or NGOs.
For a scrap worker Junaid living in Wadi-e-Saleheen, Shaheen Nagar, being able to survive is contingent upon two factors. The first, working for his Rs. 100 rupees per day. The second, since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing lockdown, the sources of income have dried up.
Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdown 2.0 to halt the spread of the Coronavirus, more than 300 families in Shaheen Nagar ran out of money and groceries.
When a siasat.com reporter visited the areas under Shaheen Nagar —including Mohammed Nagar, Errakunta, Waid-e-Mustafa, Ghouse Nagar, Minar Colony and Sadat Nagar — also some areas under Jalpally municipality. These are the areas where daily wage workers live and they are yearning for their daily meal.
“While I reached into the lanes of Wadi-e-Saleehen, I found them with stinking of garbage and sewage water overflowing across the streets, meanwhile more than 50 people including women started forming the lines believing that I came to provide some aid to them, somehow I able to convince them that soon they will receive food and other essential items from the government,” experience the siasat.com reporter.
“So, I started feeding my four young girls and two boys rice with a chutney, made of crushed adrak, onions or tomatoes,” a widow said.
A house-maid shares, “I was removed from my work as I used to work in a neighboring area in Barkas. With the money I use to earn, I was able to buy some food but right now getting one daily meal is not possible.”
As the coronavirus cases in Hyderabad climb, imposing lockdown 2.0 on five crore people is challenging. So far, Hyderabad has reported a total of 516 active positive cases — including people who were discharged and died — whereas the number in the state stands at 644. But the movement of restrictions will prove economically devastating for the city’s poor who live in city’s vast slum area say analysts.
With lockdown 2.0 halting all forms of work, many of Hyderabad’s poor from some of the most underdeveloped areas of the region now face penury and deprivation.
However, an MBT spokesperson Amjad Ullah Khan has urged the Telangana government to provide ration and other essential services to families living in Shaheen Nagar. He also shared a post on his Facebook handle to help Wadi-e-Saleheen residents resulting after which 50 ration kits were distributed.
Though residents of this area are still hoping that the government, NGOs and other social activists will then provide ration.
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