New Delhi / 25 March 2020: Social Democratic Party of India, SDPI, in statement issued today has expressed grave concerns over the grim situation of the masses across the country after sudden announcement of country wide lock down for 21 days. The lives of millions of people have been left to fate since no proper arrangements for basic essentials are ensured by the central and state governments.
An economic package to prop up the Coronavirus-hit nation is yet to come and what the central government has assured so far is not enough to contain the worries and anxieties of common people. Yesterday the Union minister Prakash Javadekar has announced the government’s policy that 80 crore people will get wheat at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg for the next three months. Meanwhile, some state governments like Kerala and Delhi has come forward with more attractive promises of free ration to all. While welcoming whatever steps, however inadequate, that were officially announced, SDPI has expressed fears about the relief reaching the real beneficiaries in time due to lack of political will and corruption and nepotism rampant in the system.
SDPI national secretary Dr Tasleem Rehmani has said that on Delhi streets since yesterday morning supplies of essential commodities are minimal and poor people coming out of home for day today eateries are prevented and beaten up mercilessly by arrogant policemen. The small street vendors were not allowed to operate. And many online grocers like big basket, Amazon etc. has stopped working and accepting orders. This is in contrast to what PM has promised in his much publicized address to the nation and also in sharp contradiction to what Delhi C M Arvind Kejriwal has promised that supplies will be ensured at door step. Dr Tasleem Rehmani urged the P M Office, Delhi C M and commissioner of Delhi police to behave in humane way in this situation of severe hardships. He said while countrymen are ready to abide by Govt. in maintaining social distancing and follow lock down orders, the Govt. is duty bound to ensure normal life indoors. He also added that many students and laborers are seen walking on highways trying to reach their homes, hundreds of kilometers far away, with no money in hand for a meal even. This is highly a humane approach for which central and respective state governments are responsible.
Dr Rehmani has also said while Delhi Govt. made a promise to pay Rs 5000 for daily wagers, proper ways are not announced as to how to reach this unorganized sector while bulk of them has no bank accounts. Similarly as per reports from different states, promises of providing free or subsidized ration are not seen as put in practice so far. This is a grim situation, if not addressed immediately may culminate to chaos, anarchy and lawlessness.
SDPI has demanded Central Govt. to come out with a firm uniform national plan to deal with this pandemic in a professional manner. For example, while country is ordered total lock down and all social religious and political functions are banned UP C M was seen attending a huge religious gathering for installation of Ram idol at Ayodhya. This shows that under the grab of a health emergency, BJP continue to pursue its petty political agenda without shame.
SDPI urges an urgent fool proof plan to reach to vulnerable sections of society involving local resident’s welfare associations, NGOs and other similar help groups. Police must restrain while dealing with general population in need and ensure local vendors and medical shops work in a normal way. Cane charging and beating the needy, poor and hungry people will be proved counter-productive. He also urged the government that banks must ensure proper cash in their ATMs.
Dr Rehmani also urged Delhi police not to use this emergency situation to settle political scores by arresting people and creating havoc among people in the way they did at Shaheen Bagh where police arrested 7 people and booked cases against 3 of them under section 188. SDPI demands immediate release of all detained and arrested men and women. Meanwhile, he appealed all fellow citizens to follow instructions of medical fraternity and other such agencies to maintain social distancing and stay indoors until the society is saved from the current catastrophe.