Lockdown blues: Northeast people facing discrimination in Delhi, difficulty in arranging food


New Delhi: Several citizens hailing from the northeastern part of the country and living in the national capital are facing immense difficulties in arranging food and other essentials for themselves amid the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Nabam Zingu, who has been stranded in Delhi due to the lockdown, said that he had to approach Delhi police through a helpline to get grocery and other essentials for survival. However, he is not the only one in the national capital, who hails from Northeastern states and are struggling to get food and facing a financial crunch.

“I run a food stall and used to earn on a daily basis. Now, I am unable to run my food stall and my daily earning has been stopped completely. A few days back, I requested several people via social media for help and to provide me with food and basic items. I have got help but it is a tough time for us,” Zingu told ANI.

Special Commissioner of Police (Armed Police) Robin Hibu has been receiving complaints seeking help from various parts of Delhi.

“Apart from financial, grocery and other essentials crisis, Northeastern people are also facing harassment and verbal abuses as people here tease them by calling them ‘Corona’ and ‘COVID-19″. The Ministry of Home Affairs has given guidelines in case someone teases northeastern people,” Hibu said.

He also said that several people from northeastern states are facing discriminatory behaviour from landlords who are asking them to pay rent.

“I have received complaints from Northeastern people asking me to help them after their company refused to pay their salaries or landlords are harassing them for rent. Some of them have no or very less amount of food left,” he said.

He told that he is helping such people through NGOs and providing them food.

Another person, who is a native of Arunachal Pradesh, also sought help from Delhi police. He has now been shifted to one of his relative’s place as he had no money to pay rent.

“I had borrowed money to survive for a few months thinking that I will get some job in Delhi. But due to lockdown, I am stuck here and I can’t go back. I raised a complaint through social media and immediately got a call from the Delhi police official who provided me with basic grocery essentials. The official of South-west district told me that cops will keep giving me food,” said Babuson Bori, who lives in Arjun Vihar.

The lockdown has been extended by the Centre till May 3 to contain coronavirus spread. (ANI)