Jamshedpur Lockdown: You only live once, live it lovingly

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Jamshedpur, March 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talk to the nation yesterday did sink into a majority of heads and the rush-rush scenario in the city was not as alarming as observed in the earlier two days of Jharkhand Lockdown. But now, since last midnight, it is national Lockdown. The respect people have for Captain Modi is because of his proven ability to steer the ship of hope over disturbed waters where no political icebergs are potent enough to slice through the hull of integrity.

The nation is concerned, the states are concerned, the world is concerned about the manner in which COVID – 19 is going about playing havoc with lives, dreams, hopes and aspirations globally. In fact, India has taken the lead in eradicating small pox and polio which stands as example in the records of World Health Organization (WHO). Naturally, the world looks up to India for panacea against killer Coronavirus. That is what WHO officials too say.

The police are seriously trying to help in this vital cause of mankind as they are keeping sharp watch over streets and residential avenues and urging people not to move around aimlessly but stay indoors unless some essentials are required. Sec 144 is in place and this has made people think twice before going out to crowded places like markets to make purchases. True, the markets were crowded during early morning but the scene melted once the sun started blazing. And of course, the police were there to hasten the diehard law breakers back to the safety of their homes. But none can be sure if the virus has been brought back home from the crowd of equally mentally impotent caricatures of mankind.

Sashiraj, a Sakchi resident who was seen making grocery purchases in the market a little before noon when the crowd had more-or-less evaporated said, “It is a shame to see policemen urging people to avoid crowds and return home. It should be a self realization that we be safe and keep others safe. I have deliberately come late because I wanted to avoid the crowd. Look at me, I am purchasing essential supplies at a time when the crowd is gone. This is one way of adopting safety measure.”

Young and upcoming cricketer Ayush Agarwal was purchasing vegetable supplies at the Parsudih Haat. It was around 6 am when vendors were just about setting up their vegetable stocks. Ayush told this correspondent, “My parents asked me to make these purchases early in the morning when people just about start coming in. This way, I am able to maintain the all important social distancing. By the time people begin to gather I will be safely home.” That should be the spirit but are the more experienced Homo sapiens willing to learn from a kid just crossing over from his teens?

Basudev Sahu, a footpath vegetable vendor in the Sidgora market was cooling off under the shade of a battered umbrella. When asked about the market condition, he informed, “Yes, there was a crowd till afternoon. Everything on offer is being sold. People are grabbing vegetables of all kinds. I am waiting for the evening marketers and, as per times, I think, I will be able to close shop by 7 pm.” On being told about the health hazards because of crowds at the market place, he said, “For people like us, we live and die every day. It is at times like these that we manage to take home some decent income.” With sympathy towards Basudev, one is wont to believe that poverty makes one careless. But such people do not realize that they become potent virus bearers who can kill the family and community at one go. To bend Mahatma Gandhi’s quote just that wee bit, “Hate poverty, not the poor.” The awareness drive on Coronavirus has yet to cover ground.

Baridih housewife Asha Devi summed it up when she observed, “We must cooperate with the government for it is for us and our wellbeing that preventive measures are being taken for this catastrophic condition. We need to ensure cleanliness at home and around our house, use soap and sanitizer regularly, avoid touch as much as practicable. Be safe and keep others safe. Three weeks will be over in a jiffy. The corona threat will be defeated.”

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