The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated class inequalities and poverty in India in following ways.
- Loss of employment: The pandemic caused widespread job losses, particularly in the informal sector, leaving daily wage workers and migrant laborers without work and pushing families into poverty.
- Digital divide: Online education during the pandemic exposed the digital divide, with economically disadvantaged students unable to access online learning resources due to lack of devices or internet connectivity.
- Healthcare disparities: The pandemic highlighted disparities in healthcare access between the rich and the poor. Affluent individuals could afford private healthcare, while the economically disadvantaged relied on the overburdened public healthcare system.
- Food insecurity: Lockdowns and economic slowdown led to increased food insecurity among the poor, with families struggling to afford basic necessities.
- Impact on women: Women in India were disproportionately affected, losing jobs or facing increased domestic violence during the lockdowns.
- Government relief measures: The Indian government introduced cash transfers and food distribution programs to support the poor during the pandemic. However, these measures were insufficient to mitigate the impact of the crisis on poverty and inequality.
The COVID-19 pandemic deepened class inequalities and poverty in India, emphasizing the need for long-term policy interventions to address these issues and build a resilient and inclusive society.