The livelihood of slum dwellers at Srinivasapuram seems to have worst hit due to the lockdown. Over 500 families reside in this colony off Loop Road in Marina.
It includes fishermen, carpenters, painters and daily wage workers.
Says Kavitha, a social worker residing here, “After the lockdown was announced, the daily wage workers like painters, and carpenters are left jobless. All are struggling to arrange money to even have food every day.”
With no money and work, Kavitha says most of them are now borrowing money from neighbours / well-wishers to lead their lives. Some are pawning jewels, she says.
What is more worrisome is that they are not understanding the seriousness of the crisis.
Kavitha says. “Though the houses here are small and tightly packed, we can follow the social distancing to some extent if all residents co-operate. However, almost 90% of the people, including adults are not following it. They crowd and chat at the street corners all the time. Whenever I ask them to maintain distance, they say it saying the virus will not affect this area.”
The only times when people here seem to follow some of the advice is when police patrols come this way and make public announcements.