Let’s talk about China

China is one of the biggest and strongest countries in the world and one of the fastest growing. It has a glorious past, filled with mystical kingdoms, dynasties and beautiful art and stories and traditions. It has also held firmly onto communism as a form of government since 1949. Let’s take a look at some of the important facts and historical events that helped to shape this country.


Why has India issued a ban on 59 Chinese Apps including TikTok and CamScanner?

What’s going on?

On the 30th of June, the Indian government enforced a ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, CamScanner, WeChat, and Meitu, because of security and privacy concerns.

These apps are no longer available for download on the Indian App Store or Google Play Store. Users that still have these apps on their phones have reported that they’re no longer functioning on any data or Wi-Fi networks.

Why were these Chinese applications banned?

This digital strike was implemented shortly after the Galwan Valley clash wherein over 20 Indian soldiers were unjustly slaughtered by armed Chinese troops; this act caused tensions to rise between India and China. The Indian Ministry of Information contends that these apps were illegally “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data” to servers that are out of the country. This makes it a threat to national security. With this argument, banning these apps was a way to protect Indian citizens from having their data leaked without their permission.

Has this adversely impacted China?

The ban is mainly a political power move on the part of the Indian government. The opprobrium China has earned following the activity in the Galwan Valley could lead to Chinese technology firms being purposefully excluded from key global markets. Unfortunately for China, these repercussions aren’t limited to applications; the USA has been rallying to restrict the usage of Huawei for 5G networks as they have been skeptical about China’s access to consumer data.

Meanwhile, apps such as TikTok owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, may risk losing $6 billion in revenues and the more than $1 billion that the company has invested in India. India has some of the largest consumer bases for these apps including 200 million Indian TikTok users. The UC browser (a Chinese web browser developed by a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group) is also the second most popular mobile browser in the country. This makes India a critical market for China. Chinese hardware companies, smartphone companies, and venture capitalist firms are in turn going to be hit by this ban. All in all, the Galwan intrusion has (literally) cost China more than its soldiers thanks to India’s swift redressal.

How will this ban affect Indian consumers?

Numerous Indian citizens have been quick to share their concerns about the ban on these commonly used Chinese apps. 1 out of 4 apps in India are Chinese and Indians make up the largest consumer base of these apps. The popular short video app TikTok was beloved in India and helped numerous online celebrities grow their fan bases, so much so that some of them were even reliant upon this app as a source of their livelihood. Through this app, famous ‘TikTokers’ were able to secure paid sponsorships and brand deals. Meanwhile, Indian companies used it as a place to creatively advertise their products. An example of this was Dettol’s #handwashchallenge that has spread awareness about hygiene during the COVID-19 crisis. This placed Dettol hand soap in the spotlight, and the involvement of celebrities like Kartik Aaryan and Disha Patani elevated the strength of the marketing campaign.

Apps such as WeChat were particularly used by Indians to keep in touch with friends and coworkers internationally, where apps such as Whatsapp are blocked. This ban will simply make communication harder for them now. For this reason, the Indian government has been under scrutiny from its citizens for blocking such applications without having any good alternatives. Indians are hopeful that this will be used as an opportunity to develop homegrown apps and goods that make up for the banned foreign ones.

Do other countries also plan on enforcing this ban?

Countries around the globe may use India’s ban as a precedent, in fact, the USA is currently mulling over it. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States is ‘certainly looking at’ banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok. He even blatantly stated that individuals should only download this app ‘if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.’ Furthermore, the Australian Government is also facing calls to restrict the use of Chinese apps like TikTok among others. An unnamed Australian member of parliament also fears that TikTok is gathering user’s private information and saving it on Chinese servers.

What are some alternative apps that can be used in India?

If you find yourself bored without TikTok or in a desperate need to scan documents without CamScanner, here is a list of great alternatives to these Chinese apps!

The following apps are available on the Android and IOS:

Triller or Youtube: Alternative to TikTok

Google Chrome: Alternative to UC Browser

Adobe Scanner: Alternative to CamScanner

B612 or Candy Camera: Alternative to Meitu and BeautyPlus

Whatsapp or Telegram: Alternative to WeChat

Files by Google: Alternative to Xender and ShareIt


Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing

 Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing. She enjoys writing and is a student at the Ecole Mondiale World School.

 


How does one get to run for President of the United States anyway?

Credit: YouTube

Kanye West is an extremely successful American rapper, singer, songwriter, and music producer, and is also a designer. He is married to reality TV star Kim Kardashian. He is releasing a new album called ‘God’s Country’ soon. On Saturday, July 4, Kanye also tweeted the following;

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION.”

Could this be true? Is Kanye West running for President? Nobody is really sure what he is upto. He could be, or it could be a stunt to generate some publicity for himself and his new album.

But it begs the question: Can absolutely anyone run for the Office of the President of the United States?

People have checked if Kanye has registered his name with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), a body that monitors campaign finance. Essentially a campaign requires quite a lot of money. The candidate and his or her advisors and staff move around the country, talking to citizens, understanding their issues, and discussing how these concerns will be addressed. All this to win the vote. All of this is expensive, so the candidates raise money through donors (individuals and companies) who want that candidate to win the election because they feel that he or she is the one who is most closely aligned with what is important to them. The FEC keeps track of how each campaign is raising money and from whom. So it’s a quick check to see if people are serious about running for President.

Anyway, Kanye’s name is not on the FEC list, but apparently there is a registration for Kanye Deez Nutz West, at the address:  ‘1977 Golddigger Avenue, Suite Yeezus!’ Catchy! But no money has been raised for this registered account.

So back to the election then. How does someone run for President? The election this year is on November 3, 2020. In India, we vote for a political party, and the political party decides which party member will be Prime Minister of the country. Here is a quick recap of how General Elections work in India. https://currentkids.in/politics/your-guide-to-the-indian-general-elections/

In America, people vote for a person to be President, and there is a different system of election. Here’s a 2 minute video that describes the process:

 

Got it! So what about Kanye? Hmmm… we will have to wait and see what he says next. Stay tuned!


Written by: Sunaina Murthy


A brief background on a decades long dispute between India and China.

The News: India and China have recently engaged in another skirmish at a stretch of land that serves as a border between the two countries, in an area called the Galwan Valley. This is a big deal because 20 Indian soldiers died on that day. The two sides are now using diplomacy to sort out the argument. But what is it about?

Disputed territory: See the picture below. The Galwan Valley is very close to the disputed area of Aksai Chin (Ladakh), which both India and China claim as theirs.

How can both sides claim the area as their own?

India and China share a border that is about 2,200 miles long, and surrounds the Himalayas. The two countries have fought over parts of this border for the past 80 years. The British who were ruling India in the late 1800s drew two lines as borders between the two countries, and demarcated a Western Sector in Kashmir and an Eastern Sector near Sikkim. China didn’t agree to these borders. Upon gaining its independence from the British in 1947, India’s leaders stated that the British-drawn boundaries were final and claimed some of the disputed territories. This included the Aksai Chin Region near the Galwan Valley.

India and China do not see eye to eye on the border, and this has led to fights between the two countries as they both try to stake their claim on these disputed regions. India and China fought a 32 day war over the Galwan Valley and some other disputed areas in 1962.

The war was settled after the two countries decided to honour a Line of Actual Control (LAC), however this line has still not settled the claims over the disputed areas, and the two sides have maintained an uneasy truce. This has resulted in both sides trying to wrest control at opportune moments, including in 2017 when the Chinese tried to build a road through the Doklam plateau that was marked as Indian territory. Indian troops were able to successfully push the Chinese back on this occasion. 

Why get into a conflict at this time? Each side is sending a larger message to the other. China wants greater control along the LAC and parts of South Asia, and has spent money on developing roads and bridges in the region. It has also invested upto $60 billion in developing a trade corridor with Pakistan. 

In the second half of 2019, India took over control of the state of Jammu & Kashmir (it was part of India but functioned with special rules), and divided it into the two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. China got worried because this could serve to block it from accessing its trade corridor or region with Pakistan.

In addition, India has been building similar infrastructure in these areas. It has recently built a road close to the Line of Actual Control in that area, and has reactivated an airfield / air base there as well. This road will allow India to get troops and supplies to the border quickly in case it needs to, and the air base will give it further access to the region. This is upsetting China.

What happens next? Despite multiple rounds of diplomatic negotiations, the two countries with nuclear capabilities haven’t come close to agreeing on most of the boundaries, which serves as a constant source of tension. The good news is that neither side actually wants a full-blown war. Both countries currently have their hands full dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s see how they manage to settle the argument this time. 


Written by: Biyash Choksey and Sunaina Murthy.

Sources: The New York Times, BBC, CNN, Vox, Al Jazeera

 


Have you heard of the Island of Socotra?

Island of Socotra
Photo Credit: The exams made simple

Socotra, Yemen, also referred to as the Dragon’s Blood Island, is a remote archipelago or a collection of islands located in the Arabian sea. It lies between Africa and Arabia and is home to numerous rare plants and species. This island is situated in the Gulf of Aden which is one of the busiest shipping routes, all ships transporting goods between Europe as Asia must pass through this waterway. Due to its strategic position and pristine beauty, the island has been involved in numerous conflicts over the years.

Recently it got caught up in the “Forgotten War” in Yemen. UAE forces supporting a separatist group in Yemen seized control of Socotra and staged a ‘full-fledged coup’ in order to fulfil their geopolitical ambitions. To read more about the Yemeni war click here.

 

What’s unique about this Island?

Socotra is considered to be a gem of flora and fauna in the midst of the Arabian sea. It boasts 825 plant species, a large number of which are endemic which means that they are native to the island and don’t exist elsewhere. These plants include the Desert Rose and the Dragon’s Blood tree which was believed to give out dragon’s blood in the form of red sap. Furthermore, the island has a panoply of exotic endemic animals including the Ghost crab and the Golden-Winged grosbeak. What’s quite unusual is that besides the human inhabitants on the island, bats are the only other mammals found to be living in the rocky caves of Socotra. Until now, the island has been able to safeguard and maintain its rare ecological profile from conflicts such as the Yemini Civil Wars thanks to its isolated position.

The Dragon's Blood Tree
The Dragon’s Blood Tree

Why does Socotra need to be saved? The island is a UNESCO world heritage site and if damage continues, it may have to be added to the list of world heritage sights in danger. The trouble here began when UAE’s interest in the island piqued. With its unique topography and proximity to the Gulf of Aden, the UAE believed it would be a great tourist spot with the added advantage of having direct control over one of the world’s most important shipping routes. The UAE backed party recently took over Socotra and launched an attack with heavy weaponry on the island. The remote province that lies off the beaten path is sparsely populated with a population of 60,000 locals; however, this recent conflict has already started to wreak havoc with Socotra’s biodiversity and ecosystem that is not accustomed to adapt to these changes.

Nonetheless, the natural habitat of Socotra has been deteriorating for a couple of years now owing to the private investment in the considerably ‘exotic’ island. Leisure sports have been conducted in ecologically sensitive locations in Socotra, which destroyed coral reefs and disturbed the turtle nesting beaches. Additionally, the introduction of invasive species* -through uninspected cargo – such as goats – is causing problems. The island is home to the Dragon’s Blood trees which take eons to grow and are a part of the island’s identity itself, however, goats have begun to prey on the vulnerability of these trees and have been ‘chomping down’ on the young trees before they’re able to grow. If the UAE’s plans of modernizing Socotra -by building Dubai style resorts- materializes, the crystal waters and rare species are going to be ruined with the unrestrained development. A dramatic increase in people and cargo traffic will disrupt the otherwise serene island.

Experts have agreed that due to the political tension on the island caused by the numerous political parties and the UAE’s aggressive interest in involving Socotra in its future business expansions, this island is going to be greatly exploited. In fact, it is on its path to turn into one of Yemen’s greatest environmental disasters.


* These are species that are not native to a particular region and therefore damage the ecosystem and environment if introduced to this area.


Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing

 Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing. She enjoys writing and is a student at the Ecole Mondiale World School.


A deafening silence when it comes to issues regarding the treatment of minorities in India

What’s going on? The brutal murder of George Floyd that took place on the 25th of May 2020 gave a boost to the Black Lives Matter movement that has taken the world by storm. Numerous Indian celebrities and citizens have stood up in solidarity with this movement that aims to abolish institutionalized racism. Through promoting petitions that demand justice for George Floyd on their Instagram accounts and spreading awareness about the importance of the movement on Twitter, they’ve been open with expressing their outrage towards this heinous act of racism. While this fervent outburst of support by Indians towards #BLM is commendable, their sheer ignorance towards minority violence within India itself is saddening.

Who are these minorities and why are they discriminated against? India’s systematic discrimination towards minorities including Dalits, Muslims, and Adivasis is deeply rooted in Indian culture, however it has become even more evident in recent times. The Dalits belong to the ‘lowest’ rank of the Hindu caste system and have been unjustly subjected to untouchability while the Adivasis are the tribes of indigenous people in India who have been severely marginalized because of their low socio-economic status. Both of these minorities along with the Muslims have been at the receiving end of extreme hostility from the Hindus in India particularly because of the nation’s Hindu nationalist political parties and its longstanding caste system.

From the recent killing of a young Dalit boy by ‘upper caste’ men due to a minor dispute regarding permission to participate in a puja, to Delhi policemen joining Hindutva supporters in lynching the city’s Muslims. History is littered with countless stories like these although it is possibly the first time that you’re hearing about them. Indians have grown complacent with their undue support towards issues across the pond and have conveniently turned a blind eye on the persecuted and oppressed sects in our own backyards while rapidly tweeting away in support while assuming that this makes us progressive.

Are some celebrities enraged about this hypocrisy? Bollywood actor Abhay Deol took to Instagram to call out Indian netizens for this blatant hypocrisy and disregard towards injustices within our own country by saying – “Now that ‘woke’* Indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard?’’ Similarly, politician Omar Abdullah noticed the undercurrents of western infatuation within India and tweeted “So much respect for all the celebrities tweeting #BLACK_LIVES_MATTER. It takes courage to bring your cowardice to the fore when you tweet for American lives but can’t tweet for Indian lives.’’

What can be done to make a change? It is time that we yank this caste and class system out from its roots in order to make any effective change. Discrimination against minorities deserves the same recognition and importance the black lives matter movement received as no society can truly progresses if it keeps a vast percentage of its population suppressed, stifled and poor. In order to start a revolutionary movement, we will need Indian celebrities to use their platform for good and spread awareness and outrage with the same passion that they did for #BLM.

 

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Maybe it’s time for these now? Now that “woke” indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard? America has exported violence to the world, they have made it a more dangerous place, it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically. I’m not saying they deserve it, I’m saying look at the picture in it’s totality. I’m saying support them by calling out the systemic problems in your own country, because they turn out to be one and the same thing. I’m saying follow their lead but not their actions. Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country. That is what the black lives matter movement is all about! In the larger picture, there is no “us” and “them”. There is not a country that’s real. But a planet in peril. #blacklivesmatter. In addendum : What I mean when I say the US “exported violence”, and “made the world a more dangerous place” is in reference to their continued development of dangerous weapons, which are then exported to countries around the world as a solution to their problems. Even their own people do not support endless wars. And I’m not letting the other players in the war theater off either, that’s why I have said a “more dangerous” place. That mentality has led them to militarize their own police, and that’s where the “karma” comes. Karma means action, and their action of always fighting fire with fire has lead to a mentality which they then repeat on home ground. How many more decades must pass before we see the need for a different approach? A dialogue is what is needed, communication, not intimidation, whether on home soil or another country! An eye for an eye will make the world go blind and ironically it is only the US who is in the best position to lead us towards peace.

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*woke – this is a slang term used to describe awareness about social issues and injustices including racism, classism and sexism


Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing

 Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing. She enjoys writing and is a student at the Ecole Mondiale World School.


Protesters deface Winston Churchill’s statue in London as part of the BLM movement

What’s going on?

Numerous protestors flooded the streets of London on the 7th of June, 2020 to show solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement that was triggered all across the world after the heinous killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The UK had its moment of awakening with people pulling down the statue of Edward Colston- a slave trader from the 18th Century- and tossing it into the Bristol Harbor. Following this act against racism, protest marches in London led to the vandalization of the ‘iconic’ statue of Winston Churchill on Parliament Square. A protestor struck out the name of the legendary British Prime Minister and scribbled ‘Was a racist’ on it while a throng of people around him chanted ‘Churchill was a racist’ to show their support. The vandal later proudly told TV crews that he was not sorry about calling a racist a racist, however, he is currently being searched for by the Metropolitan police.

Who was Winston Churchill?

Sir Winston Churchill was a renowned politician, and army officer, and was elected prime minister of the United Kingdom twice. He is a prominent figure in 20th-century British history as he conducted an allied strategy with the USA and USSR during World War II which assisted Great Britain in defeating Hitler and emerging victorious. To honor his devotion to his country, in 1973 a statue of him was unveiled on Parliament Square.

Why is he referred to as a racist?

Although Winston Churchill was a greatly admired statesman, he was notorious for his racism and intolerance towards people of color including Indians, Blacks, and Palestinians. He was a strong believer in racial hierarchies which sadly led to the death of millions.

In fact, he blatantly stated, “I hate Indians…they are beastly people with a beastly religion” and orchestrated the Bengal Famine in 1943 wherein he exported rice from India to feed the rest of his British empire, leaving 4 million Indians to die from hunger. Furthermore, 1.5 million blacks were sent to detention camps in Kenya on Churchill’s orders, he was also responsible for depriving black communities of their voting rights in South Africa.

From Winston Churchill to Donald Trump, the world has had its fair share of controversial leaders, however, I suppose it’s their cult of personality that sees them through. The human race is an impressionable race, we invest blind faith in our elected leaders and treat them with extreme adulation, in turn, justifying all their wrongdoings or refusing to acknowledge them.


Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing

Zara Shroff is a 17 year old who loves writing and singing


Why are people in America rioting?


Courtesy Shirien Damra

The News: There are mass protests and curfews across America. People from 30 cities are marching in the streets, parks, squares and plazas demanding justice. While the demonstrations started peacefully, some have become violent. People have clashed with police officials and some have broken store windows and even stolen items from inside. Several US cities have imposed curfews to try to cut down the violence.

Editorial Credit: Shutterstock.com

Why are so many Americans protesting? They want justice for a black man named George Floyd, and equality in treatment for black people. They want an end to racial inequality and injustice.

What is racism? When people who look or speak different than the majority are treated poorly because of the colour of their skin, language, culture, or where they person were born. Racism has existed throughout human history.

What happened to George Floyd? Floyd a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was arrested on May 25, 2020. The cops thought Floyd had used a fake (counterfeit) $20 bill at a store. He was unarmed. They held him down on the ground, and one officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck. Although Floyd said he couldn’t breathe, the police officer didn’t listen and Floyd died shortly after.

Have the police been punished? Four police officers were present when this happened. They were all fired from their jobs the next day. The policeman with his knee on Floyd’s neck was taken into custody and charged for murder.

People don’t think this is punishment is enough. Why? People aren’t only speaking up for George Floyd but for better treatment for all Black Americans.

The truth of the matter is George Floyd is not the only unarmed black person to die in an interaction with the police. The US newspaper The Washington Post has been tracking police shootings since 2015. It reports that the police have killed at least 98 unarmed black men between 2015 to 2019. Police are more likely to question or arrest a person of colour, especially black men.

People are angry and frustrated and are calling to end police violence and white violence against black people. The movement has taken the world by storm, especially at this time where the coronavirus pandemic has brought other inequalities glaringly to the surface. Where those with access to money, a health system and houses to isolate themselves in are faring much better than those without. In addition, in this year of the US Presidential election, American President Donald Trump has also been behaving in an insensitive manner, and has been causing a lot of controversy. Many frustrations are being acted out on the streets of America today.

Citizens of all races, businesses leaders and celebrities are coming out to stand in solidarity with the Black Community and their demands for equal justice. Here is Nike’s new post that has struck a chord with many!

 

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Let’s all be part of the change. ⠀ ⠀ #UntilWeAllWin

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Book Recommendation: “The Hate U Give” By Angie Thomas  

Age: 13 years plus. This  best-selling young adult novel casts a spotlight on racism and police brutality. 


China passes a new law that might end Hong Kong’s unique status

The Chinese parliament will discuss the controversial new laws at its annual session [Andy Wong/Pool/AP Photo]

China’s parliament has voted and passed a new security law for Hong Kong. Many people worry that this will end Hong Kong’s unique status.

What is Hong Kong’s unique status?

To understand this, one needs to understand Hong Kong’s past history. Though Hong Kong is a part of China it is different from other Chinese cities like Beijing or Shanghai.

Almost 200 years ago, Hong Kong was a fishing community and a safe zone for pirates. It was colonised by the British In the 19th century, and was ruled by the British Empire for 156 years. During this time, they made it a major trading centre. Today, it is one of the world’s top financial centres. The British ultimately had a 99 year lease on the city. This means that they ‘rented’ it from China, for a period of 99 years. The lease expired in 1997.

In the early 1980s, as the deadline for expiry of the 99 year lease drew closer, Britain and China held talks to discuss the return of Hong Kong to China. While China claimed that all of Hong Kong should be returned to them and governed under their system of communism, the British disagreed. The two countries  reached an agreement in 1984 that would see Hong Kong return to China in 1997, under the basis of “one country, two systems.”  China agreed that until 2047, Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy (independence) in all matters except foreign and defense.

Today, Hong Kong enjoys its own legal system, has multiple political parties, and its citizens enjoy the freedom to gather and freedom of speech.

The new security law is set to change this. What does it say? 

Though the details of the law are still unclear, it seems as though it is aimed at stopping protests that have plagued Hong Kong for the past year. The law will punish anyone who criticises the Chinese Government in Hong Kong just like those in mainland China are. It will also punish activists who lobby (ask for help from) foreign governments to help them fight the Chinese government. The law could also see China installing its own security agencies in the Hong Kong for the first time.

All in all it seems people in Hong Kong will lose many civil and political freedoms that they have enjoyed so far.

What is the current mood in Hong Kong?

The city of Hong Kong has been in turmoil for over a year. Last June, the Chinese government started to exert more influence on the island and introduced an ‘extradition bill’. If this bill were passed, people suspected of committing a crime could have been extradited or sent from Hong Kong to mainland China, to face their punishment there.

This didn’t sit well with the people in Hong Kong. Millions of anti-government protestors took to the streets, calling for change. Though the extradition bill was scrapped protests continued. The peaceful demonstrations became violent and lasted for months.

Then Covid-19 struck and put a pause to the protests. This new move from Beijing has prompted a lot of disapproval inside and outside of Hong Kong. Stay tuned for more updates.


Who are India’s ‘migrant workers’, and why is everyone talking about them during the COVID crisis and lockdown in India?

Credit: scroll.in

Let’s not beat around the bush. Lockdown has been challenging for all of us. We are separated from our friends and extended family, not allowed to go out much, or to play sports. There are some silver linings though! For example, your parents will be working from home so maybe you see them more, you can watch more of your favourite movies, read some books, and pursue your hobbies without spending hours in traffic. While it is certainly stressful and everyone’s lives have changed, there are many in India who are much worse off than others.

Who are migrant workers? Migrant workers are those who come to big cities to find work. Many of them work as day labourers, earning a daily wage, as delivery people, or as construction workers, making roads and buildings. When the lockdown in India was announced with only 4 hours of notice, these hard-working people were hit the hardest.

All of a sudden, the work that they were hired to do on a daily basis was halted. The money they had in their pockets was what they had to live with.

There was no real plan announced by the government to get them home to their villages and families. They were kept in camps, with little access to food, some with their immediate families and children, with limited access to medical facilities. Transportation was stopped so there was no way for them to get a bus or a train back home to safety and to their loved ones.

Even now, when transportation has been started between states, and there are some trains and buses plying, they have to get a medical certificate saying they are COVID-free. They don’t have access to doctors like you and I do, and have had to spend what little money they have on medical certificates, and on transportation fares – as transport has not been provided by the government. What were they to do? They started walking home, walking for hundreds of kilometres as they couldn’t afford to wait or to buy tickets. Many with young children. Some have died along the way. Hungry and exhausted.

Their plight is being chronicled in the newspapers every day. Many conversations you have been and will be part of, are about them and about trying to make things a little easier for them. Some people are providing food to the families as they wait in interminable lines, some people are donating money to organisations that say they are distributing food and water to them. Their journey is far from over, and when they do reach their villages, many are being quarantined on the outskirts before being let in so that they reduce the threat of spread of the disease in the villages.

Let’s think about how we can help them more. Let’s pay attention in the next couple of weeks while people are talking about how to come to their aid. Let’s do what we can. Keep your eyes and ears open, and please do share your stories with us! Write to us at: mail@currentkids.in


Written by: Sunaina Murthy