The shutters are down at all of Samunnat’s little enterprises…our shop, the Cooperative, the tailors. The dogs can sleep totally undisturbed. Today (Saturday 11) is our 19th day of lockdown. At the beginning rules were very clearly announced about what we can do and what we can’t do. Policeman are on the streets. If we are seen during the day time on the highway then we are kept in a circle for an hour in the heat of the sun. Over a week ago, the police beat the people if they disobeyed the rules and it was done in such a cruel way. People were horrified about the beating and it was published in the news papers so the police stopped beating people.
In the morning and evening the local small grocery shops are open. The Local government has given authority to door to door salespeople to sell vegetables and fruit supplies. During the evening sometimes we see people walking staying physically distant. Truly people are so scared and they are obeying the rules to protect their health.
Of course this is affecting our economy dreadfully but people are quiet even though lots of factories have closed and jobs are lost. Now people in the community are cooking food for the hungry and needy people. Food, water, and vegetables are being donated to the jobless and the students from villages who came to study.
I have been visiting Samunnat office once a week. Before the lockdown, it would sometimes take 15-20 minutes to cross the busy East West highway to get there. The highway runs the length off the country and there is usually a stream of honking, smoke belching busestruckscarsbikes! But today I could stroll across.
Everything is going ok. We are giving as many ladies as we can a COVID19 allowance so they can buy food and pay their rent. A few ladies are staying in the office shelter because, as you all know, they have no where to go. My husband Binod has grown vegetables in our garden so each week he donates vegetables to our ladies. The length of our lock down will depend on India. We are surrounded by India and China and in India the number of infections is increasing so the lock down continues.
Our government has tested 3525 people and 9 were diagnosed with COVID19 and 1 has recovered. But we are overwhelmed about whether our hospitals can care for the number of people who might get sick. We look at the sky and just pray to survive.