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Second wave of Covid had devastating impact on workers in Delhi, NCR: CPI (M) survey

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 30, 2021

Asks Delhi govt to provide cash to working-class households

The second wave of Covid-19 infection had a devastating impact on livelihoods in Delhi and the NCR, says a survey conducted by the CPI (M).

While workers were already reeling under the impact of the first wave and the economic slowdown, the second wave rendered most of them unemployed. “The loss of employment, and consequently of earnings, was very high among casual workers, self-employed skilled workers and among those who ran petty businesses,” it said.

Families in which members were infected with coronavirus faced the double whammy of job loss and substantial health expenditure. Social security programmes such as the Public Distribution System failed to provide support to all the households, the survey noted.

Access to PDS

“More than half of the surveyed households did not have ration cards. Among those that had ration cards, a majority of them did not get what they should have received because of exclusion of some members of the household from the PDS system,” CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said after releasing the survey results.

During April and May, a very large proportion among them were unable to access subsidised foodgrains from the public distribution system. Families of 54 per cent did not have ration cards that were usable in Delhi. “This was the biggest cause of their exclusion from the PDS,” Karat said.

The party also wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the issue and asked his government to provide cash assistance to working class households.

Healthcare cost

Those who were infected incurred an average expenditure of about ₹12,000 for treatment. “Out of these households, 10 per cent respondents had lost their employment during April and May and had no income. For the remaining households, expenditure for treatment of Covid/ Covid-like symptoms accounted for 68 per cent of total earnings during April and May, 2021,” the survey added.

Only 3.8 per cent of the respondents had received two shots of the Covid vaccine and 15.3 per cent had received one shot of the vaccine.

Published on July 30, 2021

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