BHOPAL: Alleging that the 21-day Corona lockdown was imposed by the government without ensuring the basic needs of the poor and the vulnerable, Muskaan, a city-based NGO said that survival is the biggest obstacle for a large chunk of population in the city.

“People don’t even have an assurance of how they would eat, let alone the next day and the next week,” said Shivani of Muskaan.

She said that most of the women were hit emotionally as they find themselves accountable to their children. The fact of wheat-flour prices have being risen from Rs 26 to Rs 30 brought Lata, a domestic worker living in Banganga, to tears. Radhika, a woman from Gandhi Nagar, continues to go out to look for scrap with her young children. She says, “How can I sit at home when my children are hungry,” she said, quoting her experience as she and other volunteers went from place to place, offering food to the poor.

“At a PDS shop in a locality in New Bhopal, a widow BPL cardholder could not take her ration as her thumbprints were not matching. Another had the same problem, and though the fingerprints of her daughter usually used to work, her daughter has been stuck in Haryana since all inter-state travel was suddenly suspended. Rekha broke down saying that she had been feeding her family of 5 children with Rs 1,500 she had saved. Another woman, Noorjehan, shared that she had mortgaged her ration card with the PDS shop-owner to meet the expenses for her daughter’s marriage and has not been able to access rations for a year now.

While the state remains suspicious - looking for documents, getting lists made, checking Aadhar cards, the working-class people are trying to support each other to the best of their ability, despite the hardships they are facing themselves, Shivani said.

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