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Lockdown 1.0

                                       Lockdown 1.0

     To stop the Coronavirus Infection chain in India 21-days lockdown started on 23rd March 2020. News channels started creating awareness about Coronavirus and COVID-19. In every interval of Television serials, Ads for 20-sec hand-washing started reminding people to wash their hands frequently. CallerTunes of all the phones started with 'cough' followed by awareness message of Coronavirus. Bollywood Celebrities started posting videos about 'Stay home, stay safe' campaign. Youtubers started making videos in their styles to appeal to people to stay at home. Educated people started searching for more details about this disease, the status of vaccine formulations and how other countries are fighting it, etc. Videos of police doing lathi-charge on people who are roaming on the streets for no important reasons started flooding on Facebook and WhatsApp. Twitter wars between Modi supporters and Anti-Modi supporters started increasing. The appeal of lighting candle, Diya or flashlight of Mobiles for 9 minutes on 9th April got a good response from people. Media focussed only on debates about how Tablighi Jamaat spread Coronavirus across all the states in India and so on. On one hand Police, doctors and Sanitization Workers started the war against Coronavirus as Frontliner Warriors and on another hand, communal forces started a war against each-other by linking Coronavirus spread to Minority religion of India. As things started turning ugly, the government came into action and started summoning the group admins of Whatsapp, persons who posted hateful posts/videos, etc to Police station and warning them. So much was happening in the month of March while cases in India started increasing rapidly. Mumbai became the most affected region in Maharashtra with more than 216 clusters/containment areas to manage.

     Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Uddhav Thackray started communicating with people and Health Minister Shri. Rajesh Tope started giving daily updates. This duo ensured that morales of people in Maharashtra will remain high and complete co-operation is achieved from people. The biggest task for Govt was to feed the lakhs of Migrant workers daily. Many NGOs and Corporates started helping Govt. in this herculean task. Maharashtra got divided into 3 Zones Green, Orange, and Red. Most of the MMR region came under Red Zone as people in slums to started getting infected with Coronavirus. The exodus of thousands of people already damaged lockdown but the increasing cases in slums and hunger and uncertainty resulted in the gathering of more than 4000 people at Bandra station on the 14th of April. Reporter Rahul Kulkarni of ABP Majha and Vinay Dube who works for North Indian laborers in Mumbai were arrested by Police for spreading rumors. CM Uddhav Thackeray and State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were already facing the wrath of opposition due to the involvement of their IPS ranked officer in helping rich businessman Wadhwa and his family to Mahabaleshwar. This Bandra incident added fuel to this. Govt gives red-carpet treatment to rich people and beat poor with sticks type of Narrative started to spread across India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that Lockdown will be extended till 3rd of May News made daily wagers restless. Noticing this Govt decided that it can't let poor people suffer, it was important to start small businesses again. So the 20th April date was decided to reduce the restriction in some Green Zones to start the economical activities. During the lockdown Hindus celebrated Gudhipadwa, Muslims celebrated Shab-e-Barat, Christians Celebrated Easter and Buddist celebrated Ambedkar Jayanti at home this time. 

                  How I spent my lockdown 1:0? 

Helped others:

     Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented situation in my life. So obviously I was very alert about it in the initial phase. I studied almost everything related to it and kept updating my friends through WhatsApp status and Facebook Live videos. Due to lockdown, we started getting calls from many people in distress. As we run educational trust and all my team lives in Santacruz, I decided to stay at home in Virar and just give them the number of other NGOs who can solve their problems. I strictly warned my team Members not to venture out of their homes. If they want to help needy people raise funds for them and transfer them online or handover the cash so that they can buy their own ration or food. I wanted my team members to stay safe. They helped many needy families in the Vakola area during this lockdown and I am really proud of them.I spent most of my lockdown 1.0 period in Spreading awareness about the pandemic, helping people in need and guiding whoever called me for help. 


    Govt of India was wise enough to start old serials like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Byomkesh Bakshi, Circus, Shaktiman, etc on Doordarshan National and/or DD Bharati channels during the lockdown. Ramayan broke all the records of TRP in this month. I too watched most of the episodes of Ramayan during the lockdown. Even though most of the episodes are present on YouTube also, watching Ramayan on Doordarshan really made me nostalgic. It took me back to my childhood when we had no television at home. We used to watch it in a neighbor's home. After every episode, we children used to make Bow and Arrow from sticks and play in yuddh-yuddh in Garden. Apart from Ramayan, I hardly watched television. Mine most of the time went in listening to Old Bollywood songs on YouTube, surfing Facebook and Twitter and chatting with my friends in WhatsApp groups.


   Never before in my life, I attended so many Webinars and Online Meetings on Zoom. This period was crazy. I accepted every invite of meetings and listened to webinars in this period. Apart from that, I watched many share market-related videos on YouTube and read reports on equities to spend my time. I learned many recipes and also tried a few of them during the lockdown. Currently, I am trying to learn about the healthcare sector to understand if by any chance I can start an NGO working in the healthcare sector in rural areas.  

Apart from these 3 things, I didn't do much during lockdown 1.0. Everyone is teaching how to stay positive during the spreading pandemic. But I am sure all of them have one question back of their minds - When will it end? People want to live normally again. No one wants to stay in fear and anxiety for longer. Everyone is showing great patience and staying at home. Perhaps that's the only reason they are all still alive. Painting, Cooking, reading, binge-watching web series, chatting with people can keep you happy momentarily. But at the end of the day we are all worried about how will we pay our bills, when will we go to office again, will I get complete salary, will my company layoff and so on? Everyone knows that sooner or later this phase shall pass and we will be left with a completely new World. Are we prepared for it?  We will discuss it in the next post. 



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