India’s disaster management framework is perilously inadequate, despite lessons from repeated epidemics and other natural calamities.
Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day lockdown on 22 March 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19, reports of stranded migrant workers have flooded in. Several disturbing pictures of homeless migrants, walking for miles to get home have filtered the news. Particularly, pictures from Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, teeming with thousands of workers. During his speech on the night of 22 March, Modi mentioned that there were plans in place to keep essential services open, but the details of these plans were left undisclosed. Details were provided online later, through advisories, though the situation seems to differ from state to state.