March 22, 2020
Central Executive Committee of AIKMS has expressed its deep anguish at the terrible decision of the Railway board to cancel all trains till March 31 as it will create an impossible situation for landless and poor village people who are now stuck in Metropolitan cities without work. Covid 19 has forced several industries to close shop and workers are being laid off indefinitely without wages.
AIKMS demands the following immediate measures to effectively control spread of Corona virus without putting common people to undue hardship.
- Immediate shift congested slum dwellers and dense colonies to all unoccupied buildings, schools, govt and private buildings temporarily to allow social distancing which is the most effective preventive measure. Provide all slums with adequate water, provide soap cakes to each rural and urban household and a pack of face masks to each person, free of cost.
- Immediate grant of free and enhanced ration to each rural and urban household.
- Ensure payment of minimum daily wages to all working households and compulsory payment of full wages to all employees in private and govt sector with compensation to be paid by the govt.
- Set up govt manufactories for masks and hand sanitizers in each tehsil and distribute them free to people.
- Trains from metropolis to regions from where labour migrations take place be started immediately.
CEC has also blamed the central govt for its late response and failure to quarantine travellers from abroad who have been the only source of this virus, which is a result of its pro rich bias.
Instead of taking scientifically sound measures, the govt is promoting token measures like single day curfews, lockdown of even basic facilities like travel and primitive witchcraft tricks like Conch shell blowing, beating utensils, etc to drive away the ‘evil’.
Fighting the Corona threat needs the whole hearted effort of the whole society and a scientific temper. It is extremely painful that the Govt. is not displaying enough seriousness and is resorting to symbolism and medieval tricks to divert peoples’ attention.
(Dr. Ashish Mital)