URGENTLY control any further CORONA waves & protect Article 21 fundamental RIGHT TO LIFE !

URGENTLY control any further CORONA waves & protect Article 21 fundamental RIGHT TO LIFE !

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Amol Barbare started this petition to Chief Justice of India


Year 2020 – For the first time we had a pandemic affecting across the world raising many questions like how big, till when, where all, how severe, what cure etc. So the first and rightfully so, reaction was to LOCKDOWN. Over a period of time, India came out of it successfully.

Year 2021 – As seen in the graph herewith, By Jan 2021, Second/Third wave started in in 8 out of top 10 CORONA affected countries across the world. To avoid the occurrence/severity of second wave, India had enough learnings from them & past experience, time to plan & be prepared. YET we have been suddenly “caught by surprise” by this Tsunami, are in critical situation, AND government took the easiest way to stop load on health infrastructure of 1.5 months long lockdown even in developed cities like Pune, Mumbai & entire Maharashtra AND thereby “ONLY ESSENTIALS” are permitted in many states of the country.

II) ESSENTIALS Vs Non-ESSENTIALS – Different people different needs

Last week I met a person who had no choice but to be an auto-rickshaw driver, because his small business had to be shut down due to huge losses courtesy lockdown. Next day, my laptop crashed down. A laptop service which was very ESSENTIAL FOR ME was not available due to shop closure. There could be many more such scenarios for many more people affecting the fundamental right to live, which led me to file this petition.

1. From the perspective of a common man

Some real-life scenarios which could adversely impact people during lockdown. For e.g.-

a) Work from home – With heavy usage/dependency on phone, what if a person accidentally damages a phone & needs to be fixed

b) Homemaker - How is a person supposed to cook if even a small gasket of cooker is damaged and unavailable

c) Students - What if there is some problem with the internet which could not be resolved if a modem is not available and how severely can it impact online classes/studies.

d) Children - Ask a child psychologist, how the toys/books availability is essential for children and how the number of stress cases in children increased during lockdown due to increased screen times.

e) Seniors - Ask a person with spectacles/hearing aid, how essential it is for him to get it fixed urgently in case of any problem, and it gets delayed due to disturbed supply chain

f) Can one function if a tube light suddenly stops working and there is no spare bulb at home?

g) During summer, what happens if suddenly some electrical appliance like a fridge/fan/cooler/AC stops working and no spares are available?

h) What if a tap is constantly running and cannot be fixed because hardware shops are closed

i) What if one needs go out for some urgent reasons and the vehicle tyre is damaged?

j) Ask a person recovering from a surgery, how badly physiotherapy equipment is needed for recovery and is not available

So, basically what has been perceived by the authorities as NON-ESSENTIAL could be VERY ESSENTIAL for ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL AT THAT POINT OF TIME.

2. From the perspective of a businessman/service provider

A lot of businesses/services characterized as non-essentials, have had a tough fiscal year in 2020, and have started 2021 on similar low note with lockdown. AND how does it affect the overall economic chain due to various interdependencies.

a) Many products being considered non-ESSENTIALS, means huge losses to manufacturers / distributors / retailers, especially to businesses affected during their peak season. Is it not ESSENTIAL for them run their businesses/services in normal way. What is the financial impact on them and their employees income?

b) Many community helpers get affected in their right to earn their living. How does a lockdown affect a person running a garage OR a tyre repair shop. Apparel being non-essential affects a tailor. How is a cobbler affected. Think of impact on a barber. How are hawkers affected when negligible people are allowed on the street. What about all these helpers and their families?

c) A report by an economic wing of SBI suggests economic loss of Rs. 1.5 trillion due to lockdown


To summarize, the whole classification of essential vs non-essential during lockdown, affects a lot of people significantly and some of the losses could be irreparable. People making decisions on lockdowns may not face many of the above issues, might have the health infrastructure load as their priority, BUT need to be sensitive to all these things while devising any plans during pandemic.

So, in my view during any pandemic wave -  

1. What is non-essential ?

a) Any kind of public gatherings for religious/political/leisure reasons is NON-ESSENTIAL

b) If the situation is very grave, do a TOTAL LOCKDOWN with only food and medical related products and services on for about 2 weeks AND get some rapid decline of cases. Such partial lockdown of 45 days resulting in only controlling growth-rate is NON-ESSENTIAL.

c) The currently followed bifurcation of ESSENTIAL Vs NON-ESSENTIAL, in itself is NON-ESSENTIAL

d) If at all, Any Luxury and Sin Goods, like Jewellery / Cars / AC / Refrigerators / Alcohol / Tobacco / Drugs etc. are NON-ESSENTIAL during lockdown

2. What is essential ?

a) For pandemic management –

i) Accountability – While CORONA phase 1 was completely unforeseeable, the phase 2 was very much predictable in India and rather than preparing we started relaxing in Jan 2021. The governments are definitely accountable for it and should be severely questioned for making the people go through this and indirectly violating the Article 21 “Right to Life” (which includes right to live, work, earn). Also they should ensure the below mentioned actionizing is done immediately and in continuous manner to close this wave and avoid any further wave.

ii) Actionizing - Following things need to be done In a cyclical manner until all CORONA waves are done with - A) Continuous communication of guidelines/restrictions B) Robust action plan on vaccine/beds/oxygen/medicines front C) Improve implementation with support from private companies/volunteer organizations D) Heavy penalties for violations E) Continuous monitoring & fine tuning.

b) For common man, business & economy - It is ESSENTIAL to ensure minimal inconvenience to common man and all businesses being operational with minimal economic impact. There is a need to Relook at restrictions from being authorities centric to common man centric point of view. If at all there is a need to reduce common man movement, some of the solutions could be -

i) Allow some business to run on some days of the week and some on other days. Essentially all business/services to be allowed at least twice a week.

ii) Extend the total business timings to more number of hours of the day AND Allow certain categories of business on some part of the day & some on other parts of the day.

iii) Allow home delivery services for all kinds of all businesses and products, whether they have an ecommerce site or not.

IV) In summary

The second wave in India has shown that Governments have fallen short significantly, some citizens have contributed through casual behavior, & ALL ARE SUFFERING critically ! Request an immediate intervention in lockdown policies to Control CORONA yet upholding Article 21 to Live well, Earn living, Save Economy !

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