With no job or income, people from NE in Maha face hard times

Mumbai, Mar 26 (PTI) People from North-eastern states working in Maharashtra are having a tough time due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown as most of them are employed in the unorgansied sector and depend on daily wages for sustenance.

With everything coming to a standstill due to the wide-ranging restrictions put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus, most of these people have been left without work or steady flow of income.

According to an estimate, more than 20,000 people from North-eastern states reside and work in Maharashtra, most of them in Mumbai, said Leo Tharmi Raikhan, a representative of North-eastern community in Mumbai.

He told PTI, We are facing a lot of problems ever since total lockdown was imposed. Around 99 per cent of the North-east population here in the city and other parts of Maharashtra depends on daily wages for their livelihood.

'They are mostly employed in private and unorganised sectors in places like hotels, restaurants, spa, saloons, malls and showrooms. A few of work in call centers. Their lives have been impacted adversely due to the lockdown.' Many families and individuals are on the verge of starvation due to sudden loss of employment and stoppage of salary, Raikhan said.

'As the North-eastern people in the state live in rented accommodations, many are unable to pay monthly rent.

They are facing pressure from landlords and landladies to pay rent,' he said.

They cannot even leave for their hometowns as there are no transport facilities, he said.

'We request the authorities to help the people from North-eastern states who are facing life and death situation,' he said.

Most of these people reside in Mumbai suburbs of Kalina, Khar, Juhu and Mira Road, among other, Raikhan said.

'Besides facing bread and butter issues, people from the North-east have also faced a few incidents of racial discrimination,' he rued.

'We, the people of North-east, will remain grateful for any help rendered in these hard times,' Raikhan said. PTI ZA RSY RSY