His situation is desperate. The tiny home has no running water or toilet, his family is low on food — and when he doesn’t go to work, he doesn’t get paid.
“Social distancing is not just for the sick, but for each and every person, including you and even your family,” Modi said in a nationwide address last week.
“The lanes are so narrow that when we cross each other, we cannot do it without our shoulders rubbing against the other person,” said Mahender. “We all go outdoors to a common toilet and there are 20 families that live just near my small house.
“We practically all live together. If one of us falls sick, we all will.”
At least one person in a Mumbai slum has already tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As panic grows among India’s most vulnerable, thousands of migrant workers are trying to flee the slums for their rural homes, by bus and even by foot, sparking fears they will import the virus to the countryside.
In a radio address Sunday, acknowledging the chaos the lockdown had brought India’s poor, Modi asked the nation for forgiveness. But he also urged listeners to understand there was no other option.
1 toilet for 1,440 people
Water is one of the biggest reasons India’s poor need to leave home every…