Will “Unlock” solve the problem?
Covid 19, better known as a “disease of the rich” has now affected the global economy and mostly the people in developing countries who live hand-to-mouth. Even Mumbai, a city of dreams for many, has fallen prey to this pandemic. These people start each day with the hope of getting new work, being well aware of the dangers and associated risk and only if they get one can they think of buying food at the end of the day.
Since 9th June, most of the shops are open for business and the city is waking up from the three month “forced” hibernation. Earlier, the street dwellers and the informal workforce had returned to their natives to seek refuge, however, with no jobs and money, survival has been difficult and they are struggling to return to the city in the hope of finding a means to earn a living as soon as the government announced “unlock”.
Those who could not go back to their villages had to survive with the increasing hunger. Many NGOs and private organizations supported these people during these difficult times.
We at Mumbai Smiles Foundation have been working with street children and the victims of human trafficking and are with them throughout this lockdown providing with food and hygiene products. Recently, when our “Access to School” team visited the Wadala, Borivali and Wadi Bunder areas to know the whereabouts of these families who returned from their villages, we realized that they are suffering even more because of losing jobs and houses.
These conditions are forcing them to go back to their old life, begging and using their kids for earning money and of course addiction will come along to escape from the hunger pangs.
This is a very unhappy and discouraging moment to see these people who are trying to come out of their harsh reality and working hard towards the bright future of their kids, being forced to accept what comes their way due to this unprecedented situation. However, Mumbai Smiles family is with them and will support them by all means and help them stand again.