The World's Biggest Lockdown

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The World's Biggest Lockdown

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For 1.3 billion people, is the cure worse than the disease?

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the world's biggest lockdown, he gave the nation of 1.3 billion people only four hours' notice, unleashing one of the biggest mass migrations in his nation's history and leaving the poor in cities with no means of earning an income or feeding their families.

Tens of millions of migrant workers, who'd moved to the cities to find work, lost their jobs, their wage and their shelter overnight. To find food and shelter, hundreds of thousands hit the road to head back to their villages. In a bid to stop the exodus of people and the virus to the countryside, governments cancelled trains and buses, and closed state borders. Many kept walking anyway, often trekking hundreds of kilometres to get home.

While the government has tried to help those in need by providing food and financial aid, not everyone has benefitted. This story takes an inside look at how the poorest of families living in the slums of Mumbai and Delhi are coping with this nation wide shut down, following one of the country’s top investigative a journalist who's made it her mission to shine on a light on India's most vulnerable. The lockdown has generated two conflicting arguments, one stating that a disproportionate amount of the price for keeping the country safe has been paid by the poorest Indian citizens while the government defends its decision stating if it hadn't locked the country down, the virus would have spread and 'it would have led to a catastrophe'.

A Foreign Correspondent Story

Credits

Foreign Correspondent
Australian Broadcasting Corporation