Workers, students, youth, women and citizens of Delhi all across the city protested on 17 May against the silencing of voices against the Modi Govt and the vaccine policy of the Modi Govt. Protests were held at their respective homes with placards in Narela, Swaroop Nagar, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, Vijay Nagar, Ashram, Jamia Nagar, Okhla, Lakshmi Nagar, Munirka, Najafgarh and other parts of the city. This was part of a joint call given by the CPI ML, AISA, AICCTU, RYA.
The deadly second wave of the coronavirus has completely exposed the failure of the Modi Govt to save lives and protect people from the virus. Many scientists had warned about an impending second wave but it was ignored by the Govt. Modi and the Union Health Minister and the BJP never lost an opportunity to declare victory over the virus. The complacency, lack of planning and arrogance has resulted in countless loss of lives. The Modi Govt knew that the vaccine was the best way to prevent the virus yet because of a complete lack of planning failed to order and procure enough vaccines to vaccinate the maximum population in the minimum amount of time. As a result, we are facing acute vaccine shortage across the country.
The Modi Govt instead of dealing with the crisis at hand has gone into hiding and is instead busy silencing voices of those who are protesting the failure of the Govt in dealing with the situation. In a latest move to silence dissent the Delhi Police has arrested people for putting up posters criticizing the vaccine policy of the Modi Govt. It is also investigating how opposition parties have helped many desperate citizens get oxygen and life saving drugs.
On the occasion of protest Sucheta De, CPI ML State Committee member said, ‘Ever since the second wave became evident the Modi Govt has been shirking its responsibility to deal with the crisis. They blamed the people for wanting too much oxygen and did not order enough vaccines. Instead, those who are criticizing the handling of the pandemic by the govt and holding it accountable are being targeted and arrested. We demand that the Modi Govt stop passing the responsibility to the State Govts to ensure vaccination and immediately start central procurement of vaccines to ensure vaccination of the entire population in the next three months. The Modi Govt must undertake this with all urgency and stop harassing and targeting activists and citizens who are questioning is policies and holding it to account.
Our Delhi Covid Help Desk reached Swarupnagar Colony. Situated behind one of Delhi's biggest garbage heaps in North Delhi, this colony comes under a high risk zone. Despite this, we do not see any government initiatives for Covid prevention.
Our relief team comprising CPIML Delhi Secretary Ravi Rai, Comrade Akhtar and Comrade Kalam spoke to citizens in the colony. They told us that the constantly rising smoke and dust from the garbage makes it difficult for them to breathe, but no arrangements have been made to improve the situation. There is no sanitization arrangement in the entire area. People here also lack Covid prevention materials. The lockdown has also led to financial difficulties. A large number of people have fallen sick but there are no testing facilities and no proper treatment.
We demand from the Delhi LG and the Delhi government that special efforts should be made for medical facilitues in Swarupnagar and other high risk colonies. People in these colonies should be provided Covid prevention equipment and Covid testing facility should be made available. A relief campaign should be organized to solve the lockdown-induced livelihood crisis.
The Covid Help Desk team distributed Covid related medical kits and informed the colony residents about our free auto ambulance service.
At this time of crisis when sanitary workers and laborers should get their rights and be provided with all essentials for sustenance, the government has left them to fend for themselves. Health services for them are nowhere to be seen.
An AICCTU-CPIML team visited Kusumpur Pahadi in Vasant Kunj and distributed daily health needs like masks and sanitizers and pamphlets with necessary information and guidelines. They also informed the people about the free auto ambulance (with oxygen) being run by our union.