Mumbai: With restaurants, salons and other non-essential establishments forced to lock down due to the COVID-19 precautionary measure, people from the Northeast of India who work in these services are facing immense hardship.
Due to the bad state of the Indian economy that prevailed even before the lockdown was imposed, many of these employees who worked in beauty salons, spas and restaurants say they had not received salaries for at least a month.
Leo Tharmi Raikhan, vice-president of the BJP’s Christian Minority Cell, North Central Mumbai said that a significant number of people from the Northeast live in the Western suburbs of Santacruz, Kalina, Juhu and Mira Road in rental accommodations and have small jobs in restaurants, spas, hotels and salons, whereby they sent money back home to their families. “They don’t have any savings and this situation was unexpected,” he said.
“Many are finding it difficult to even meet their daily needs. The worry is that with the month-end, house rents have to be paid and they have absolutely no money left,” he added.
“We appeal that house owners show some consideration by not chasing them away or harassing for rent. It is a difficult time for us and impossible to return home as our regions are far away from Mumbai,” he said.
Timreiwon Kasomwoshi from Manipur, who works in a spa in the city has not got even the February month’s salary. She stays on a sharing basis in a Kalina flat for which she must pay Rs 7,000 as rent. “I have no idea how to pay the rent this month,” she said in disappointment. She also has the responsibility to send part of her earnings back home.
The 30-year-old Ramngachan Ningshen, who works as a cashier at a restaurant in the Western suburbs, lives in a chawl there with his family. “Workers were asked to stop coming to work a week before the lockdown started as there was no business. So, even if I get this month’s salary, I will only get half of it and have to pay Rs 12,000 as rent for my room. I will have to speak with my owner and don’t know what he will say,” said Ningshen.
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