Published: 01st April 2020
Gandhian Collective to organise day-long fast-from-home in support of people hit by lockdown
The participants will be observing the fast in their own respective homes and with family members who are healthy and will be speaking up for a plethora of causes
Several democratic and progressive groups led by the Gandhian Collective have decided to observe a National Day of Fasting and Prayer on April 2 from 6 am to 6 pm to express solidarity with people who are suffering during the lockdown. The groups have assured that they would not defy the lockdown and other government-laid safety stipulations. Thus the participants will be observing the fast in their own respective homes and with family members who are healthy.
"We have to appreciate and cooperate with the central and state governments’ desperate measures such as the national lockdown. However, we are obliged to point out the complete lack of any planning, consultation, forethought and democratic precepts and participation of people in its actual implementation," the participants wrote. "Consequently, millions and millions of unorganised workers, migrant labourers, homeless people and other deprived sections of India are left high and dry and they are forced to fend for themselves without jobs, income, food, water, shelter, transportation, sanitation and even medical care in the midst of a fast-spreading international pandemic," they added.
Taking note of the massive exodus of people from the urban areas after being let down by their employers and the government, the Collective announced that the privilege should not remain silent on the issue. "Those of us who are better privileged with comfortable homes and all the basic necessities of life cannot and should not afford to be mute spectators of this huge national tragedy and the suffering of fellow citizens with high casualties," they argued.
The participants said that during their fast they would also contemplate on possible collective national and local strategies to face the COVID-19 menace, "Those who take part in this fast would appeal to the central and state governments to offer a special package to the unorganised workers, migrant labourers and other poor sections of our country with adequate food, shelter, medical facilities and compensatory wages for at least four months," they added. The Collective also expressed appreciation and gratitude for the hardworking of our doctors, nurses and other health care workers, sanitary workers, government officials and the police personnel.