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Locked Out at the Margins

The pandemic and lockdown have been particularly hard on those at society’s margins.

The deleterious effects of the pandemic and the strict measures of lockdown have brought immense misery and risks for those who continue to be at the margins and fringes of the Indian society, even during non-COVID-19 times. These marginalised sections include the transgender community, the disabled, street children, sex workers, and others. The imposition of lockdown has not only aggravated precarity in their everyday survival but has also created more odds and obstacles in their efforts to earn their living and lead a “normal” life.

For a large number of these communities, the streets of cities and towns have become their main sites to earn their livelihoods. Begging and selling petty goods are the two main sources, and these have not been chosen by them but have been thrust upon them. Each of these sections is vulnerable in its own way. The disabled hawkers in public transport and on the streets make a living for their entire families. A number of transgender persons, sex workers and the disabled have formed associations and organisations to pressure policymakers and governments to heed their rightful demands. These organi­sations petitioned the courts and governments to ensure access to basic services like food, medicines, etc, during the lockdown. Others, like the street children, have to depend on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to practically help them and plead their case.

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Updated On : 29th Jul, 2020

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