Curfew, Restrictions Make Life Miserable For Many In Tripura

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Posted in Featured, Tripura

-Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Life has become difficult for many in Tripura and many of them are fighting it hard even to manage one meal a day after the state government declared curfew in the state to stop the surge of COVID-19.

People engaged in different occupations are facing a lot of difficulties to earn their bread and butter and the most severely affected have been the rickshaw pullers, daily-wage labourers, and e-rickshaw drivers and they are passing their days in despair.

“Riding the rickshaw is the only way to earn my bread and butter for my family. But life has become difficult for the past few months after the government imposed certain restrictions in the state,” said 62-year-old Sankar Das, a resident of Jogendranagar- about 9 kilometres from Agartala to this correspondent.

“I had a battery-installed rickshaw. But as it started showing some problems, I had to rent a rickshaw. From the earning, I also need to pay an amount to the owner,” he further said.

“The present situation in Agartala is pathetic as there is very less number of passengers. Moreover, shops are closed and the movement of the common people has also been restricted to noon every day. I hardly earn Rs 150-200 a day. I have four members in the family and my son is also out of job presently,” he further said.

“Last year, I did not receive any financial assistance from the government during the lockdown. I heard, the government announced Rs 1000 as financial assistance this year as well, which I haven’t received. I have no hope from this government,” he bemoaned.

Rajat Banik, an Agartala-based young entrepreneur urged the government to help the budding businesses in Tripura.

“The curfew this year and in about two months lockdown I incurred a huge loss. We are receiving notices for various EMIs and working capital loan. At least, the government needs to frame guidelines for the businesses and traders so that we can earn some money,” Banik said.

Speaking to this correspondent, Dr Sajal Nath of Agartala said, “Even though the number of positive cases and the number of deaths is increasing in Tripura, but the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic scenario in the state is far better compared to the rest of country.”

“Still, we have to remain alert and aware about the transmission of this deadly virus within the community,” he added.

“We don’t have any official account of community spread of the virus nor there is any history of travelling and contact, but the virus is getting transmitted across the state. A section of people is still not maintaining COVID protocols,” he further said.

“Due to the imposed restrictions, we are not witnessing gatherings but people are not wearing masks properly and they are also flouting the social distancing norms. Solely due to these, the cases in Tripura are rising,” he further said this correspondent.

A vegetable vendor seeking anonymity said,” Due to the curfew imposed in the state, our main problem is that the vegetable products start rotting after a certain period as we cannot sell them within the stipulated time.”

The vendor, however, is hopeful that with the announcement of the financial assistance of Rs 1000, the condition would change to some extent.

Bishu Saha, who works as an undertaker at Battala Crematorium in Agartala informed this correspondent that around 10-11 bodies of people who succumbed to COVID-19 arrive at the crematorium every day.

“There are two gas-generated electric furnaces where these infected bodies are burnt,” Saha informed.

“The government is paying a fixed salary of Rs 7,000 per month which is not enough for us. We urge the government to regularise us and also increase the salary to Rs 10,000. Sometimes the family members of the deceased also give us money as a token of gratitude,” he further said.

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