COVID-19 impact: 'We get 1 meal a day, some days nothing', say Ghatkopar slum dwellers

Updated: Apr 10, 2020, 09:09 IST | Faizan Khan, Vishal Singh | Mumbai

With allegedly no help coming from local MLA or any officials concerned, Ghatkopar East slum dwellers are praying that some do-gooder will come to their aid

The daily wage workers of Ghatkopar East say no one has come to ask about their well-being yet
The daily wage workers of Ghatkopar East say no one has come to ask about their well-being yet

Around 600 daily wage workers in a Ghatkopar East slum behind the Regional Transport Office (RTO) are struggling to get even one meal a day since the lockdown was announced. They claim that despite assurances by the local MLA, it has been more than two weeks since they had any proper food.

Razia Akhade, a social activist in the area has been making all attempts to reach out to the concerned authorities and local MLA. "We were asked to send the list of people who needed food supplies, to the MLA's office. However, despite sending the list, no relief has reached us. I also learned that people from other localities are hoarding food supplies from our quota."

Ahmed Husain, 37, a daily wage worker said, "The situation is such that, if we get food in the morning then we are not sure if we will have anything to eat in the afternoon or evening. I have five members in my family and all are dependent on me. Whatever stock of ration we had is finished and now I don't know how we are going to survive."

"Some people come with food one or two kilometres away from our location. But police don't allow us to go out of our locality," he added.

Manda Yede, another resident of the area said, "I use to collect plastic waste from the street and nullah, and my livelihood was dependent on it. I have two children who used to work at a construction site. But ever since the lockdown has been announced, we all are sitting home. We are cooperating with the government by following their rules and not going anywhere, but we need food to survive."

When mid-day contacted local BJP MLA Parag Shah, he said "We are making all possible efforts to reach out to every household, I have already distributed 12,000 food packets in slum areas.

The slum population is very large as more than one lakh people live there. So it is difficult to reach out to everyone. But I am sure that the state government relief will reach the people soon."

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