Janata Curfew in Mumbai: Clang of utensils, claps, break day-long silence

Updated: 23 March, 2020 07:07 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

People follow PM's directive to stay indoors but show of solidarity for essential service providers turns into festival as people gather outside

Marble artisans emerged out of their shops to show solidarity for those engaged in essential services
Marble artisans emerged out of their shops to show solidarity for those engaged in essential services

From local trains honking for five continuous minutes to people banging thalis from their balconies, people responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to show solidarity with the professionals fighting the spread of Coronavirus on Sunday. But the exercise ended up becoming festive and creating unwanted crowds instead of maintaining the curfew.

Silence breaks at 5 pm
The silence prevailing all over the city broke at 5 pm when people came out of their buildings, emerged on terraces and balconies, or appeared on their windows to clap, bang thalis and bells to thank those engaged in essential services. Several residential complexes saw people gathering for the exercise. Whereas, in high-rises, people followed the directions and stayed inside.

A Juhu resident appears at his residence's window for the show of solidarity at 5 pm. Pic/Satej Shinde
A Juhu resident appears at his residence's window for the show of solidarity at 5 pm. Pic/Satej Shinde

During the day though, Mumbaikars followed the Janata Curfew. Roads and streets were deserted, shops were closed. Versova and Juhu beach did not see any Sunday crowds. Further, Lokhandwala market and Four Bungalows market too were shut.

Shiv Sena leader and Mayor Kishori Pednekar did not get into politics and followed the PM's directive. She and her family too appreciated the work done by essential service providers by clapping and banging utensils.

Jitendra Doshi
Jitendra Doshi

Music, crackers in Borivli
The streets of Borivli too were deserted, and only BEST buses made a few rounds. This suburb too sprang to life at 5 pm. While those living in residential complexes appeared on windows and balconies, slum-dwellers gathered on the roads with utensils. Some areas though saw people bursting crackers or playing music.

On New Link Road, which was several marble shops, around 50 artisans came out on the road. Sarwan Singh, one of the workers, said, "We spent the entire day indoors and followed the orders. It was only at 5 pm that we came out to show our gratitude. We live inside our shops. We decided not to go to our hometowns as it would lead to exposure." The workers are spending most of their time on their mobiles.

Sarwan Singh, marble artisan
Sarwan Singh, marble artisan

While these workers have a kitchen inside their shops, Jitendra Doshi from Yogi Nagar, pointed out that there are many in the city who don't have basic facilities at home. "For even a cup of tea, they were dependent on restaurants and tea stalls. People won't invite strangers to their homes. The government should have at least one restaurant open in a one-kilometre radius so that people don't suffer," said Doshi. A railway official said that on their part, trains blared horns and whistles in the yards and workshops.

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First Published: 23 March, 2020 06:55 IST

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