With the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing a Rs 3 lakh crore lifeline for micro, small and medium industries and relief for income tax payers and employees in organized sector, the first steps towards Atmanirbhar Bharat have begun. But the exodus of lakhs of migrant workers still continues and it has become a worry for state governments.
Normally big foreign investors will never say this, but the harsh ground reality is that there have been instances in the past when cases lingered on in our courts, the entire law was changed, and big infrastructure and investments made by foreign companies went waste.
The victims, tired after walking along railway tracks for 38 km, sat on the railway tracks, had a frugal meal of rotis and chutney, and then dozed off. By the time, the goods train ran over them, only five of them could jump away to safety.
Doctors in both government and private hospitals are, no doubt, putting in their best while treating COVID-19 patients. They undertake risks to their own lives. The nation respects these doctors and health workers.
In Tonk, Rajasthan, a group of youths sitting on the roadside was chewing paan and spitting on the road on Tuesday night. This was objected to by some senior citizens. Soon a brawl ensued, and groups of youths began stoning cars and homes causing head injuries to six persons.
For the last one and a half months, citizens are practically confined to their homes, children are not allowed to go and play in parks, doctors, nurses, police personnel have been away from their families for more than a month, ensuring that we stay in good health and the nation is protected from the pandemic.
The Railways did not want big crowds to gather at major railway stations. They passed on the onus of collecting fare to the state governments who were bilaterally organizing these trips.
Clearly, the lives of common people will change a lot after May 4. On one hand, we have to protect ourselves and our community from virus spread, and on the other hand, the government needs to allow economic activity so that the wheels of development and commerce can move. Let me make it clear: the time for celebrations is yet to come.
In Meerut, India TV reporter found rooms full of meal packets rotting. These were collected from hunger kitchens, depriving the needy of their morsel of food.
Apart from allowing the return of stranded persons, the Centre is now formulating guidelines for further relaxation of lockdown norms from May 4 in Orange and Green zones, where the pandemic has not affected human lives much.
Out of nearly 30,000 corona cases presently in India, nearly two-thirds (roughly 20,000) cases are from five states, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh.
The Centre has allowed lifting of all restrictions on farming activity. Nearly 80 per cent of the wheat crops have been harvested and shops selling agricultural implements, seeds and fertilizers have been allowed to reopen. Mandis (farm product markets) are operating normally.
I want to specifically mention here, this could not have happened without the full cooperation of millions of Indians who rose as one to heed the Prime Minister's appeal. This could not have happened if the police had not strictly enforced lockdown norms.
The Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad is still in hiding and he has not yet issued any appeal to his workers to come out and cooperate with the authorities. This has become a bigger challenge as time passes and the activists in hiding do their work as super-spreaders of the deadly virus.
The ordinance has been welcomed as timely by all sections of people. We should also have words of appreciation for our police personnel who are toiling day and night to enforce lockdown and to provide security to health workers in hospitals and quarantine centers.
If Nizamuddin Markaz was the origin from where the virus travelled through carriers from Delhi to UP, to MP, to Telangana and Tamil Nadu, why should we refrain from saying so? If Tablighi Jamaat workers manhandle doctors and nurses in hospitals, create ugly scenes inside quarantine centers, why shouldn't we name them?
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has promised action against the culprits. Already 110 people have been arrested for taking part in the lynching incident, but the police must find out those who spread baseless rumours on WhatsApp about child lifters and robbers moving in the garb of sadhus.
When the Devegowda family was asked why they did not follow norms, Kumaraswamy released an aerial footage to claim that only 40 people attended the wedding.
Already 17 accused of stone-pelting have been arrested, and police are using drones and other video footage to trace nearly 180 persons, who took part in the shameful attack on doctors and medical team.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath immediately swung into action and ordered that the attackers in Moradabad be booked under National Security Act.