COVID 19 – EXODUS

By Vanita Srinivas

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The world today is reeling under multifarious high pressures. We are face to face with an unprecedented challenging situation, which if not met with matching tenacity and mettle will prove to be deadly and fatal.

The media has given a wide coverage of Corona COVID 19, despite the fact that, anybody hardly knew anything about it. In a world of ignorance everyone is an expert. The dimensions of impact of the half knowledge reporting was unknown until the exodus began. Rumours move and grow faster, making way for lot more rumours. The rumours have created an atmosphere of anxiety and phobia characterized by extreme irrational fear of even simple things. We, still, are not aware of any attribute or aspect or distinctive feature of the new disease. We are, still not aware of the causes and implications of the disease. Instead of sensitizing the public the reports have terrorized them. Thus, those who had a home to stay safe locked themselves and the rest resolved to move and stay with their loved ones in the villages, irrespective of the distance to be traversed.  Thus begun the historical exodus of labourers.  Amidst all the uncertainty and fear a pair of feet beat a thousand kilometers to reach a modest place called home. The lack of equipping them with knowledge equipped them with the determination to reach their village.

Did the Media fail the labourers?

Yet another reason for the phenomenal saga of migration was the strong desire to be within the safety of the walls of home. Most of the labourers were living in a rented premises and were unable to pay the rent, thus decided to leave for good. At a time when labourers were struggling to make both ends meet, the people around them should have offered them with the warmth of their support, concern and day to day necessities. Everyone in the society was so engrossed in ensuring welfare of their own family and dear ones that they completely forgot to take care of the people who took care of the repair and maintenance of their houses and household during good times.

Did the Society fail the labourers?

The heartrending stories of labourers, marked with anguish and grief was covered by not only the national but also the international media. Oblivious of all the unrequired attention being given, the labourers continued their ordeal. They crossed districts after districts with a firm and intense purpose although weak in body yet strong in their determination and spirits. Every district witnessed their severe and painful experience but none of the local authorities came forward to put a solacing balm on their bruised soles.

Did the local authorities fail the labourers?

Challenging times demand challenging response. Extraordinary situations should be met with out of box solutions. Knowing everything does not serve the purpose, ownership is mandatory and primary requisite, to resolve the issue. It’s not late. The story of misery has just begun for the back home yet uprooted workers. As a nation, society and administration it is our responsibility to settle the expatriated and take care of them. It is our duty to inculcate a confidence through an overt help and compassionate empathy. Making them self-sufficient once again will make our nation strong and self-reliant. It will make us proud as a nation and reflect upon our culture and values.

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