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At coronavirus hotspot Nizamuddin, homeless believe this too shall pass

With the Tabligh-e-Jamaat’s Markaz in Nizamuddin West being linked to at least seven COVID-19 deaths, and over 440 people showing symptoms, the area has emerged as a virus hotspot.

Published: 02nd April 2020 08:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2020 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

Mohammad Hasim Ansari runs a roadside shop which doubles as his home. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As large parts of Nizamuddin West remained cordoned off and media vans thronged the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station on Wednesday afternoon, Mohammad Hasim Ansari living near the subway along with his family remained seemingly unfazed.

With the Tabligh-e-Jamaat’s Markaz in Nizamuddin West being linked to at least seven COVID-19 deaths, and over 440 people showing symptoms, the area has emerged as a virus hotspot.

But Ansari is not worried. “I have been living here since 1986. I am confident this will all pass soon…,” he said eating his lunch. He almost rhetorically reassures himself the ‘virus will not spread further.’
“But there is loss… we are incurring lot of losses since the day of shutdown. We are eating from whatever little we have saved,” said Ansari who runs a small roadside shop which doubles as his home.  

Shaheen, who lives near the subway too, said she does not feel any threat from whatever she has been hearing about the outbreak. “But today police did not let me enter the house where I work,” said Shaheen.
Sitting on the stairs of the subway, Mubarak said, ‘life will go on as usual’.    

Near Nizamuddin Railway station, Prem Chand who lives on the streets said there is little to lose in life.

“There is no threat. What other threat can we have in our lives? We rely on people to get food,” he said.
Monu, a differently-abled person, wheeled off his wheelchair saying he did not understand what he ‘should be afraid of’.

In the streets around Nizamuddin and on the flyover, stuck migrant workers and destitute said they were not afraid. “We are already so disadvantaged. We do not feel scared,” said Mohammed Mehraj, a differently-abled person. Munna from Madhya Pradesh’s Chattarpur district said he got stuck after he came to recover his wages from his contractor in the capital for the work he did in Chennai.

“He said once there is fresh work, he will give me wages. There was no work and then the lockdown happened. I did not have any money to buy tickets,” said Munna who now lives on the Nizamuddin flyover.

Locked out

Munna from MP’s Chattarpur district said he got stuck after he came to recover his wages from his contractor in the capital for the work he did in Chennai. “There is no work. I did not have any money to buy tickets,” he said



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