Photos: How the Covid-19 lockdown altered lives for many in India

  • As the clock struck midnight on March 24, 2020, the world's second-most populous country came to a screeching halt, isolating everyone in their homes. India's lockdown, among the strictest anywhere, lasted for 68 days, and some form of it remained in force for months before it eventually was lifted. Since the pandemic began, India has had 11.6 million cases and more than 160,000 people have died. A year after the lockdown, its ripples are still visible. Some people shrugged it off and managed to get back to normal. For many others, though, their lives were changed greatly, as seen in this AP photo series.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST 9 Photos
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Neelesh Deepak, a theatre artist, manages a stage for an upcoming show at a theatre in New Delhi on March 16. First, his food supplies ran scarce. Then he couldn’t pay his apartment’s rent. Out of money, Deepak eventually returned to his village to stay with his parents, biding time to cope with never seen before isolation.(Altaf Qadri/AP)

Neelesh Deepak, a theatre artist, manages a stage for an upcoming show at a theatre in New Delhi on March 16. First, his food supplies ran scarce. Then he couldn’t pay his apartment’s rent. Out of money, Deepak eventually returned to his village to stay with his parents, biding time to cope with never seen before isolation.(Altaf Qadri/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Neelesh Deepak watches a rehearsal of an upcoming show he is managing at a theatre in New Delhi on March 16. When Deepak returned back to the capital in October, things had changed. Most theatres had closed. Upcoming shows were suspended indefinitely and thousands of his peers had no jobs. His struggle continued for months until he eventually joined a nonprofit group as a researcher. His income plummeted from between $500 to $600 a month to a little more than $150. He struggles just to buy food.(Altaf Qadri/AP)

Neelesh Deepak watches a rehearsal of an upcoming show he is managing at a theatre in New Delhi on March 16. When Deepak returned back to the capital in October, things had changed. Most theatres had closed. Upcoming shows were suspended indefinitely and thousands of his peers had no jobs. His struggle continued for months until he eventually joined a nonprofit group as a researcher. His income plummeted from between $500 to $600 a month to a little more than $150. He struggles just to buy food.(Altaf Qadri/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Health worker Kavita Sherawat, 30, shows a photograph of her son Parakhshit before proceeding to take samples to test for Covid-19, in New Delhi on March 18. Despite dutifully wearing masks and always washing her hands, Sherawat got infected, as did her husband, parents and in-laws. While doctors and nurses were cheered as heroes during the lockdown, people avoided her, fearing infection.(Manish Swarup/AP)

Health worker Kavita Sherawat, 30, shows a photograph of her son Parakhshit before proceeding to take samples to test for Covid-19, in New Delhi on March 18. Despite dutifully wearing masks and always washing her hands, Sherawat got infected, as did her husband, parents and in-laws. While doctors and nurses were cheered as heroes during the lockdown, people avoided her, fearing infection.(Manish Swarup/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Kavita Sherawat puts on a face mask as she prepares to take samples to test for Covid-19 in New Delhi on March 18. She tested thousands of sick and gasping people as they arrived at hospitals, not knowing if the gear she wore was adequately protecting her. “That fear changes you as a person. You start valuing your life more,” she told AP.(Manish Swarup/AP)

Kavita Sherawat puts on a face mask as she prepares to take samples to test for Covid-19 in New Delhi on March 18. She tested thousands of sick and gasping people as they arrived at hospitals, not knowing if the gear she wore was adequately protecting her. “That fear changes you as a person. You start valuing your life more,” she told AP.(Manish Swarup/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Migrant labourers Nirbhay Yadav, 50, (L), and his son Lovelesh Yadav wait to get employed for the day in New Delhi on March 18. Yadav and his son were part of the biggest migrations in India's modern history. Millions who left the big cities for the countryside, without work because of the lockdown.(Manish Swarup/AP)

Migrant labourers Nirbhay Yadav, 50, (L), and his son Lovelesh Yadav wait to get employed for the day in New Delhi on March 18. Yadav and his son were part of the biggest migrations in India's modern history. Millions who left the big cities for the countryside, without work because of the lockdown.(Manish Swarup/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Nirbhay Yadav (wearing checked scarf) and his son Lovelesh Yadav waiting for work in New Delhi on March 18. The two travelled 600 kilometers on foot, braving scorching sun and hours of thirst and hunger. When they finally reached home, villagers didn't allow them to enter the village because of fears of coronavirus transmission and were sent to a 14-day quarantine(Manish Swarup/AP)

Nirbhay Yadav (wearing checked scarf) and his son Lovelesh Yadav waiting for work in New Delhi on March 18. The two travelled 600 kilometers on foot, braving scorching sun and hours of thirst and hunger. When they finally reached home, villagers didn't allow them to enter the village because of fears of coronavirus transmission and were sent to a 14-day quarantine(Manish Swarup/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Ganesh Chaurasia, 42, a roadside juice vendor, is seen through a passing rickshaw as he waits for customers in New Delhi on March 16. Chaurasia told AP the lockdown plummeted his income and pushed his family, that is still struggling to make their ends meet, into economic despair. Street vendors like Chaurasia represent 4% of the urban workforce across India, AP reported.(Altaf Qadri/AP)

Ganesh Chaurasia, 42, a roadside juice vendor, is seen through a passing rickshaw as he waits for customers in New Delhi on March 16. Chaurasia told AP the lockdown plummeted his income and pushed his family, that is still struggling to make their ends meet, into economic despair. Street vendors like Chaurasia represent 4% of the urban workforce across India, AP reported.(Altaf Qadri/AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Tashi Singh, 21, a transwoman and an aspiring model, applies makeup at her apartment in New Delhi on March 18. Singh chose the lockdown to implement the toughest decision she had made in her life. For years, the 21-year-old told AP, she had known she was “a woman trapped in a man’s body." When she told her parents, they were unsupportive and hostile. (Manish Swarup)

Tashi Singh, 21, a transwoman and an aspiring model, applies makeup at her apartment in New Delhi on March 18. Singh chose the lockdown to implement the toughest decision she had made in her life. For years, the 21-year-old told AP, she had known she was “a woman trapped in a man’s body." When she told her parents, they were unsupportive and hostile. (Manish Swarup)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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Tashi Singh, narrating her story in New Delhi on March 18. “The lockdown made me realize how to live life,” she told AP, at the rented apartment she shares with six other transwomen. “But I guess it was also a blessing in disguise.”(Manish Swarup)

Tashi Singh, narrating her story in New Delhi on March 18. “The lockdown made me realize how to live life,” she told AP, at the rented apartment she shares with six other transwomen. “But I guess it was also a blessing in disguise.”(Manish Swarup)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2021 02:09 PM IST
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