The pandemic has us on the run. Cases have multiplied at rates far higher than we have capacity to cope with. The disadvantaged and the poor have been hit the hardest. The uncertainties they face are higher than many of us can imagine. They don’t have the option to “work from home”: They have no work, and many have had to give up their homes.
We have seen heartbreaking stories about this kind of distress. Exhausted migrants who were run over by a train while resting on a railway track near Aurangabad. A man cycling a 1000 km journey from Delhi to East Champaran run over by a car as he rested on a road divider. People losing their lives when a mango truck they lay atop overturned near Agra. Or the 12 year old girl who died a short distance from her home in Chhattisgarh, when she was on her way back home from Telangana.
Deprivation, hunger, hopelessness and death have hit us hard and fast. We should mourn, rage and acknowledge our privileges. And we should build our collective will to knuckle down and contribute the best of what we have to battling this crisis.
In this issue, we pay tribute to the 12 year old girl who went to work on a chilli farm in Telangana and could not make it back home. Her journey lasted well over a hundred kilometres over three days. She is lost forever but can we find redemption in our actions?
Her shadow hangs over this issue.
Download the second of our chronicles during the COVID-19 lockdown here.