India’s poor, hammered by coronavirus lockdown, fear for future

MUMBAI (HRNW) – Shaikh Bahaduresha, 31, lived on Mumbai’s streets for two months last year, unable to make ends meet on his meager taxi-driving profits of roughly $5 a day. After he got married in December, his wife put some money towards renting a small apartment, and they moved in together.

But with much of India now under lockdown to fight the coronavirus, Bahaduresha’s newfound stability could come crashing down.

He has no more taxi customers, which means he cannot afford food beyond rice and lentils, and will not be able to pay his rent, due on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged India’s 1.3 billion people to stay home and the majority of the country is under lockdown. As of Monday, India had reported 471 cases of the virus and nine deaths.

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