People from the North-East states, who in large numbers work in Maharashtra, are facing problems because of the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in India. They have pleaded the government to look into the issue.
"It’s a question of life and death," said Leo Tharmi Raikhan, a representative of North-East migrants in Mumbai.
Raikhan said that they are facing many problems now since the Central government, as well as the State government, have imposed a total lockdown. "Ninty-nine percent of the North-East population staying in Mumbai or other parts of Maharashtra depend on daily wages for their livelihood. We are all employed in the private and unorganised sector like hotels restaurants, spas, saloons, malls, showrooms and in few cases in call centres which have been affected badly," said Riakhan.
Many families and individual youths are at the verge of starvation due to sudden suspension of employment and salary.
The main issue is the loss of earning because of the lockdown and pressure to pay rents of their accommodation."As you know, 100 percent of the North-East people in Maharashtra live in the rented accommodations, many are unable to pay the monthly house rent. On the other hand, there is pressure from the landlords and landladies to pay the rent," said Raikham.
"This rental issue with landlords is even there for Mumbaikars staying in slums/chawls and who are facing a problem with earning a livelihood due to this calamity," said BJP leader and former MLA Krishna Hegde.
The area most affected are Kalina, Khar, Juhu, Mira road and many other places where our North-East Indians reside in large numbers.
"Apart from the problem of bread and butter. There are some incidents of abuse and racial discrimination of the North-East people living in Mumbai by calling them "Corona people"," Raikham said.