The coronavirus pandemic has caused deep inconvenience and discrimination towards people with oriental features. While Asians across the world are being treated unfairly, Indians from the northeastern states residing in mainland India, have been attacked and harassed, being called “Chinese,” and have been accused of being the carriers of COVID-19.
Following this, during the lockdown, the owner of a hair salon in Bengaluru Rahul Rai resolved to help migrants from Nepal and northeast India by providing them with a safe place to stay. Many of these migrants still continue to face the ugly consequences of the pandemic.
“The moment the lockdown started, I received many complaints from different corners that several persons became jobless, and they were thrown out of their rented accommodations. I converted my hair-cutting training salon into a shelter home for them,” said Rahul Rai, as reported by The Quint.
Plight of Northeastern women – victims of orthodoxy in their home states, targets for sexual abuse in rest of India
Rahul’s salon is now a shelter for IT professionals and other migrant workers, many of whom arrived in Bengaluru with hopes of seeking better job opportunities than the ones in their native states. Those in need contacted Rahul via Facebook, post which he made arrangements to help them in such unprecedented times.
Being denied entry into stores, evicted, called vile names, getting fired from jobs, and forced into hunger, their plights have significantly worsened. Earlier, in Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, a 25-year-old Manipuri woman was called “corona” by a local man and had spat paan on her on March 22.
“They are from different states of the northeast, and some of them are from Nepal also,” Rahul told ANI.
One of the men currently availing shelter at the salon, spent a whole week at a lake in the city along with others before he reached the salon. He had been evicted from his residence where he was residing before the lockdown. The group by the lake was rescued once he reached out to Rahul online. This is just one of the many disturbing and heartwrenching incidents that have taken place across the country.
(Edited by Suman Singh)