Lack of awareness among low-income groups, daily-wage workers worst hit due to coronavirus outbreak: NGO survey
A survey of 20 settlements across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Vasai-Virar and Panvel by non-governmental organisation (NGO) Yuva has revealed that there is lack of awareness on the coronavirus pandemic among low-income groups and that misinformation is high across the groups.
“Many of the respondents we surveyed believed that the virus started from slum settlements. They also believed that consumption of non-vegetarian food is spreading the virus,” said Marina Joseph a member of Yuva.
Of the more than 800 families surveyed, 95% were daily-wage workers, who are the worst hit owing to the ongoing lockdown.
While construction labourers have no work, many are discontinuing the services of their domestic helps or cutting their wages, the survey stated. “Vendors who sell food items are among groups that are suffering the most as people are avoiding consuming of street food. With the closure of places of worship, all associated jobs have also come to an end,” the survey stated.
“With schools being closed from the past few days, midday meals have also stopped. Many children depend on midday meals to sustain themselves during the day,” Joseph added.
Yuva has as asked the Maharashtra government to set-up an assessment committee and a relief fund for daily-wage workers in the state and to issue a directive asking employers not to deduct salaries of such workers. “The funds should ensure direct transfer of money every week to low-income groups,” stated the NGO.
Yuva has also launched a campaign ‘Together We Can’ aiming to connect around more than 3,000 families in Mumbai so that citizens can help the NGO provide rice, pulses, wheat and oil worth ₹600 to such families.