How the pandemic has hit the hands that feed India

Covid-19 Lockdown Farmers Harvest
Farmers in many parts of Assam, Bengal and other states too are facing problems in harvesting and transporting their produce due to the COVID-19 lockdown | Image - Eunice Dhivya

A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the world’s biggest lockdown ever at 8pm on March 24, Kuldip Mishra was on his way to New Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar in a mini truck loaded with medicine boxes.

Passing through the expensive condominiums and towering glass office blocks, the 33-year-old driver did not notice anything unusual yet to suggest the nightmare that was to befall him and many others.

The realisation dawned on him only when he went to park the vehicle after the day’s work. The truck owner bluntly told Kuldip to pack up and return to his village in Uttar Pradesh since there would be no work for days (Delhi CM on March 23 had announced a complete lockdown from March 24-31).

With only ₹1,200 in his pocket, he hurried back to his one-room rented accommodation at Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi. Faridabad was already under lockdown since March 22 with six other Haryana districts.

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