Resource centre on India's rural distress
 
 

Wanted: An urban equivalent of MGNREGA -Amit Basole and Rakshita Swamy

-Down to Earth

Such a programme is the need of the hour not only as a measure to revive the urban economy now, but also to mitigate any further shocks to it in the future

The collective memory of how India lived through the world’s largest lockdown will be seared by images of how our state and society dealt with the country’s workers. Left largely to fend for themselves, millions living in the underbelly of the very cities they have built and serviced, surfaced on the shiny highways and flyovers to walk back home, hundreds of kilometres away.

Street vendors watched haplessly as their carts of fruits and vegetables were upturned by the police. These are the very same carts that provided door step delivery to many others who maintained “social distancing” and were busy discovering their inner chefs and bakers.

Sanitation workers, delivery agents, tempo and truck drivers carried the enormous burden of running cities and towns on their shoulders, while having no job, income and social security.

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