01.04.2020 ‘We Will Starve Here’: India’s Poor Flee Cities in Mass Exodus.
Tired, hungry day-wage laborers march to villages on foot and the migration risks spreading virus across India during lockdown. In small groups and large crowds, through inner-city lanes and down interstate highways, hundreds of thousands of India’s poorest are slowly making a desperate journey on foot back to their villages in a mass exodus unseen since the days immediately after India’s independence in 1947. For many, it’s a matter of life and death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s order last Tuesday to lock down the country for 21 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has dried up work in urban areas, leaving many rural migrants who keep the city moving while making less than $2 a day -- construction workers, handymen, food sellers, truck drivers and household help -- suddenly wondering how they’ll pay rent or buy food. Many walked with hundreds of others down a highway normally clogged with vehicles, their mouths and noses covered with scarves or handkerchiefs or masks. They clasped their children and belongings -- tattered duffel bags stuffed with clothes, buckets filled with cooking utensils, blankets and sheets. The grim scenes playing out across the nation of 1.3 billion people are some of the worst across the world since the virus crisis shut down much of the global economy. What’s worse, the mass movement of people risks speeding the spread of the coronavirus across the country -- undermining the goal of the 21-day lockdown. Credit: ALJAZEERA
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.