Migrant Worker Crisis
Streets around the Indian capital Delhi have been filled with people walking to reach their villages in neighboring states. Most of them are daily-wage workers or migrant workers who are now out of work. They had been in the city because that was where they were able to find work. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown of the country on March 24 to slow the spread of coronavirus.
In the absence of money and jobs, they are desperate to reach their villages. Some found government-run buses but public transport was suspended, leaving millions of people stranded.
Once everything closed down, one worker, Neeraj Kumar with his wife and child had no other option but to walk back to their home village. They could not find any public transportation. Their walk home he said would be 260 kilometers—161 miles.
Please pray for the many thousands like Neeraj and his family.
At least 90% of India’s workforce is employed in the informal sector, according to the International Labour Organization, working in roles like security guards, cleaners, rickshaw pullers, streets vendors, garbage collectors and domestic helps. Most do not have access to pensions, sick leave, paid leave or any kind of insurance. Many do not have bank accounts, relying on cash to meet their daily needs. The majority are migrant workers, which means that they are technically residents of a different state to the one where they work. Then there is the problem of the floating population: people who do not live in any state for a long period as they move around to find work. READ MORE from the BBC.
Though the Finance Minister announced a financial package to help the poor and the Indian government has promised people two meals a day, the lines are long and the food is insufficient. READ MORE The Callousness of India’s Covid-19 Response, The Atlantic
And just as concerning is the reality of thousands of migrant workers heading back to their villages carrying the coronavirus back with them.
Ways to Pray
Families in Crisis
Please pray for children, families and migrant workers who are all in crises due to the lockdown. Starvation is a real threat. READ MORE
Please be aware that though churches are self-sustaining, the people in the villages have no way of making money during this lockdown which means they are not able to support themselves or their pastor. PLEASE PRAY for pastors and their churches.
Sharon Hospital and Covid 19
Last week we reported that Sharon Hospital had closed with all the rest of the Sharon Garden Campus. The Indian Government has requested that it be open and made ready for use for those sick with Covid 19. The staff are now preparing for emergency response. PLEASE PRAY for this preparation and the workers.
GIVE NOW to Help with the Migrant Worker Crisis
Your Prayers & Support are Needed NOW More Than Ever.
Source note: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52086274