A year ago, India had observed what Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed as people's curfew, followed by a landmark announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. However the Covid-19 raised its ugly head in the twin-city on 27, March when the first positive case was detected by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) in the twin-city. Since then normal life went for a toss as the lockdown continued in some form or the other for the next few months. From daily wage workers and small time traders to politicians, rich businessmen, on-duty police and civic personnel- the twin-city has witnessed 810 casualties owing to the deadly infection in the past one year as the number of positive cases have soared to 28,617. As the entire state reels under the shadow of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Free Press Journal spoke to people from various walks of life about their experience.
-After the pandemic broke in March-2020, we were left with no other option but to return to our native place as my husband who is a construction worker was left jobless and most of my employers had relieved me, owing to restriction imposed by housing societies on the entry of outsiders. As the lockdown was lifted we came back and life started limping back to normalcy but once again we are grappling with uncertainty and fear due to the rising number of cases and fear of second wave- Shivani Sarkar- a maid from West Bengal who works at households in Mira Road.
-In the past one year we have lost many of our colleagues to the pandemic, but this has not deterred our police force from performing duties. We have not just done conventional roles like nakabandi and case detections, but have also guarded containment buildings and hospitals and also made sure that supply of essential goods is streamlined. We even took lead during the process of sending migrants back home, guarded areas, stopping anyone from venturing in or out of the containment zones. This while keeping a tab on crime and criminals. It is a humble appeal to people to follow protocols to contain the virus.- ACP- Vilas Sanap
-It has been a traumatic experience. With no leaves and holidays our entire workforce has been on high alert for the past 12 months. From starting Covid care centers and quarantine units to ensuring proper implementation of lockdown and developing applications for delivery of essentials, the civic administration has been working the round the clock to contain the pandemic. Citizens have been very co-operative but now they seem to have taken their guards down which is not advisable. Covid appropriate behavior is bound to be followed voluntarily- Raj Gharat, senior MBMC officer.
-Our business has gone from bad to worse since the pandemic broke out, followed by successive lockdowns last year. With sales next to zero, neither are we able to pay our vendors, nor are we in a position to clear our rents and EMI’s. Hit hard by the pandemic, we started selling gloves, masks and even sanitisers and steamers for survival. There was a bit of movement in the garment business in-between, but once again we are back to square one due to the fear of the second wave. If the situation prevails, we will have no other option but to permanently close our shop.- Ganesh Shivmath, a readymade garments retailer from Bhayandar.