‘Bhookh’: A Song on the Plight of Migrant Workers

Jo beemari se bache, toh bhookh se mar jayenge (If not by the virus, we will die of hunger)”, Delhi-based poet and musician Poojan Sahil recites in the video of his latest song Bhookh as searing visuals of migrant workers walking back home barefoot run in the background.

The poem comes at a time when thousands of migrant workers have been forced to take up the long walk home to survive the pandemic.

For many others who chose to stay back, sourcing food has become a problem even though local governments and civil society have been doing their bit. The situation is grim and almost 200 have died across the country since the lockdown was imposed – and it was not because they contracted coronavirus.

Yesterday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the lockdown would be extended till May 3, scores of workers gathered at the Bandra railway station in Mumbai to try and get home only to be met with police lathis.

The aggressive lockdown has particularly affected the poor. Poojan sings about how even if workers somehow manage to save themselves from the virus, they may still die of hunger.

Featured image credit: PTI