INDIAN AID now
Centred around those in urgent need.
The Indian government, by imposing
a nationwide lockdown, has left the transport of stranded migrant workers entirely to state governments.
The result is a disastrous humanitarian crisis: millions of impoverished working-class Indians are walking, cycling, dangerously hitchhiking home, sometimes over distances of more than 1,000 km, often on empty stomachs. More than 170 people, including children and pregnant women, have died in accidents on the way.
As the privileged middle and upper classes, it is our duty to come to their aid.
Cyclone Amphan has wreaked havoc on the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha and Assam. At least 98 people have been reported dead, and several more have been injured -- emergency and rescue efforts hindered as they are
by the coronavirus. The thatched huts and makeshift settlements of the poor have been torn to shreds. Social distancing measures have made successful evacuation impossible and shelters are unable to operate at full capacity.
While the more well off have bounced back, the poor are struggling to survive.
The streets of India are home to millions of animals -- including upto 35 million street dogs alone, most of them injured, sickly and in constant pain.
The 3 month long lockdown has had disastrous effects -- these gentle creatures mostly live on what little they are fed by the occasional passerby, or nearby shops. But as streets lie almost completely empty and shops and restaurants are shut down, these animals have been dying of starvation and dehydration by the hundreds.
This list is by no means comprehensive. if you have a suggestion, or would like me to highlight an Indian issue that i have overlooked, feel free to dm me on twitter.
have a yoongi day!
᠃ ⚘᠂ ⚘ ˚ ⚘ ᠂ ⚘ ᠃
As a result of decades of structural discrimination, exclusion and violence, a majority of the transgender community of India continues to depend on begging, offering blessings during traditional celebrations in exchange of alms, and doing sex work to earn a living.
But due to the nationwide lockdown that has been in place for almost four month now, their work has come to a grinding halt, along with their daily income. They are starving in their homes. A significant portion of the community is also HIV AIDS positive, and they are unable to afford their life saving medication. To them, the lockdown is as good as a death sentence.
In 2015, 52-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched to death by a group of cow vigilantes in the town of Dadri in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh for allegedly consuming cow meat. Religious minorities, and Muslims in particular, became the target of slurs like “terrorist,” “jihadi” and “Pakistani.” Attacks on them, some even leading to killings, started to become a regular item in the news.
Five years on since Akhlaq’s murder, there have been so many such cases that the actions of cow vigilantes have become normal and, sometimes, to our great shame, even praised by Indian lawmakers.
In February 2020 alone, more than 50 people were killed in a targeted mob violence in the Indian capital of Delhi. More than 70 percent of those who died were Muslims.
Today, as the world battles coronavirus (COVID-19), India is also battling another threat to life – Islamophobia. In recent weeks, social media and WhatsApp groups have been flooded by calls for social and economic boycotts of Muslims and there have been numerous physical attacks on Muslims, including volunteers distributing relief material, amid falsehoods accusing them of spreading the virus deliberately.
This new wave of Islamophobia started after the Indian authorities announced that they found a large number of coronavirus positive cases among Muslims who had attended a mass religious congregation in Delh. Even as the authorities raced to trace those affected, leaders from the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had already called the Jamaat meeting a “Talibani crime” and “CoronaTerrorism.” Some mainstream media screamed “CoronaJihad” and the hashtag went viral on social media.
In this environment of rabid hate, Muslims, especially the extremely poor and vulnerable who have always been at threat of brutal violence, are struggling to access basic necessities, healthcare and transportation. They are struggling to survive.