Out-of-income middle class scraping the barrel to pay Covid bills

Last November, 26-year-old Akash Malik, an engineer in an IT company in Gurugram, was among several employees who lost their jobs as the firm was not able to make enough revenue. He has been jobless since then.

When the second wave of Covid-19 hit the country, Akash’s father contracted the disease and turned critical. After desperate search for hospital with beds, he found one in Gurugram.

He was told to deposit ₹2 lakhs initially. He deposited the money from the family savings and his......