Last week Ananya told us about her online classes and how she was feeling more relaxed, but she also started to feel a bit gloomy. This week she decided to do things differently. If you want to know more about Ananya, click here to read her bio.
Press the play button to hear what Ananya has changed to make her feel more peaceful.
Current situation in India 18th of May
The numbers kept increasing last week, on Monday the 11th of May India saw its highest single day peak of COVID-19 cases. It has not slowed down this week. Since Friday May 15 India has more number of cases than in China. However, India still has a lower death rate than China. In a week time the number of cases has increased by almost 30.000. 824 people have died since last week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that it will not be possible to completely end the lockdown in India. The lockdown got extended with another two weeks. However, there’s now an ease of restrictions in some areas. Restaurants can no operate as a take away service, and private cars can drive across different cities. If you want to know what now is allowed in India, watch this video.
Modi wants migrant workers to reach their homes in their native place before the 22nd of May. The migration of these people have caused a lot of problems. Special trains were introduced but there are still people walking instead. There have been a few accidents in which more than ten migrant workers got killed in road accidents.
In Bihar food packages would be handed out for returning migrant workers who finally reached home. The person who was supposed to give the packages got mobbed by the hungry workers. This led to fighting and a lot of violence.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, announced that 3.500 crore Indian rupees will be spend on free food grains, like rice and pulses, for migrant workers for the next two months. According to some people this relief package comes too late.
There are still individuals who help the migrant workers when the government is lacking to do so. One example is Baskar Seshadri who gives people tea and biscuits. On his Facebook page he comments on what he encounters during this volunteering. Click here to read some of his stories.
There are estimated 35 million stray dogs in India. Stray cats and cows are also common. Normally these animals feed themselves mostly with food scraps that people or street vendors leave behind on the streets. But because of the pandemic, it is hard for them to find food. That is why food programs for animals have become much more important. As if this was not difficult enough, rumors of animals spreading COVID-19 has led to people dumping their pets.
Besides charities people themselves also take initiative to feed stray animals. This gave a 63-year old man the nickname ‘the cat man of Mylapore’. He has been feeding stray cats for almost twenty years now. Because of the lockdown he couldn’t feed all the cats. That is why volunteers help him now to feed cats at different locations.
Heat killed approximately 350 people last year in India. With summer approaching this is raising concerns for people who do not have a cool space to stay at during the lockdown. In New Delhi temperature has already reached 41 degrees Celsius. The forecast does not look good, because it is predicted that India’s summer will be warmer than usual. Since people are forced or advised to stay inside their homes, it is important that power and water supply will be ensured on peak days.
What have states done to help?
1.77 million people are homeless in India. A few states like Maharasthra, Kerela and Delhi (note: Delhi is not a state but a territory) are helping these people with health checks and safety provisions. But many other states, sixteen in total, that are home to fourty percent of India’s homeless population, have not taken any steps to offer help.
Seven states, such as Gujarat and Sikkim are providing food to some people. Some states, like Bihar, made new shelters. Only four states offer health facilities. According to experts the homeless are ignored by the government because they are being invisible. Want to know what authorities could do to help homeless people in India? Read this for more information.
In the article of last week you could read about an outbreak of COVID-19 in Dharavi. On Monday the 18th of May the total number of cases in this slum has been raised to 1200. Over fifty people died because of the virus. For more information you can read this article.
On the 5th of August 2019 Kashmir got a security lockdown due to a constitutional change of Article 370. When they just got out of this lockdown, the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed. Read this article if you want to know more about how Kashmir is doing under these circumstances.
There have been a lot of struggles for migrant workers who want to reach home. This article shows twelve short videos of the situation of these people (the videos are not in English, but you still get a view of what the conditions these people have to face).
If you would like to know how migrant workers can be protected, watch this video.
Although there are no cases of the virus on Antarctica, they did impose a lockdown. If you are curious about life on an Indian base on this continent, you can read this article.
Want to know how the current situation influences the lives of women in India? Read this article.
Want to know which areas got the most corona cases? Take a look at this interactive map.