Lockdown renders basket weavers jobless,without food

Nihad Amani

Hyderabad: Thirty- five days of lockdown following the breakout of coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the disappearance of food from plates of citizens.

Particularly, the poor, beggars, daily wage earners, migrant workers, laborers, and small scale businessmen appear to be struggling hard to put a meal on their plates and that of their loved one. They are all desperate for financial assistance that is hard to come by.

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In a random survey carried out by http://siasat.com/ it was revealed that the basket weavers seem to be one among the hardest hit group of people due to lockdown.

The bamboo baskets which are made by the women who have usually migrated from villages to earn a living in the city have no work on hand and on one to buy whatever ware they have woven in the past weeks. Their husbands lent a helping hand in their work or went on a daily wage. They too have been forced to sit at huts or makeshift homes.

The women at Chaderghat narrated their woes.  “We are not allowed to put our baskets on roads and sell. This has led to a grim situation. We have no income nor have we been provided with any help during this lockdown period. Our situation is bad.  Sometimes we do not even have one meal in a day. Our children are crying for milk.  Where shall we buy it from. We have no money at all,” they said.

“Ramadan is a good season for us.  So is the month after it when a number of marriages take place. But as luck would have it, a number marriages have been cancelled. As a result we have no customer nor  our husbands have any work demand,” Radha said.

Some of the weavers when asked about White Ration card and withdrawal of 12 kg rice given by the government one of them said, “Sahab humlog yaaN kay nai hai. Hamara ration card gauN may hai. Hum gauN ku nai jaa saktey. Kaisa jaengey is lockdown meiN? (Sir we are not from here. Our ration card is in the village. We can’t go to village. How shall we go to village in this lockdown?).” one of the women asked with tears in her eyes.

Some of them said that they did not get the promised Rs.1500.

These baskets are made artistically to hang at homes.  There are also others which can used regularly for fetching stuff home.

These baskets are generally sold in areas like Gosha Mahal, Nampally, Begum Bazaar and Chaderghat.

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