A video of a man and some dogs sharing milk spilt on a street in India's tourist city of Agra, went viral on Twitter in the country on April 13. Those who shared the video have said that the "heart-wrenching" clip is the perfect depiction of lockdown desperation among the poor in India.
India's lockdown has been extended till May 3. While the economy, businesses and daily life is affected for many, those facing life-and-death situation are the country's poor and its stray animals, many of whom are daily wage workers and are left with no source of income to buy basic food and medicines to sustain.
The video that was shared by many tweeps had people questioning about how the Indian government was channeling funds to support the poor. Many called out the government about their expenditure on unnecessary projects instead of focusing on citizens who are suffering.
Tweep @vijaita ponted out: "Meanwhile Rs922 cr to be spent on new Parliament building. How can any of us sleep after watching this?"
And, @srivatsayb posted: "Is it so difficult to feed the hungry when we can plan Namaste Trump so well & spend ₹3cr on flowers for his roadshow?"
Reportedly, the visuals are from Agra's Rambagh Chauraha, where a milkman's bike was caught in an accident causing the milk containers to spill on the road. Within seconds, street dogs gathered to drink the milk that was spilt and soon a destitute man also arrived, trying to collect some of the milk in a pot, using his hands to scoop up whatever he could.
According to the Indian news website indiatoday.in: "The video of the ordeal was shot by two bystanders and by evening had become the talk of the town. When district authorities were asked to comment on the video, they said they had no information of any such instance. Authorities, however, mentioned that a nearby police station is responsible for distributing food to the needy."
Tweeps also shared videos of how migrant workers struggle as wages dry up and supplies run out, amid the lockdown.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) said last week that 40 crore Indians working in the informal economy risk falling deeper into poverty during the coronavirus lockdowns.
NDTV, an Indian news channel reports that the central government has announced direct cash transfers and food subsidies to help some 80 crore people. However, according to the report, most people the channel interviewed over the past few weeks, have said they have received nothing or too little so far. In fact, "several people have been beaten up while trying to collect the benefits or had to line up for hours in the blazing sun," the report added.
The ILO also says welfare measures such as food aid are critical for the roughly 380 million people who work in the informal economy, which includes everyone from vegetable sellers to cobblers.