Lower middle class: The worst-hit during lockdown
The ongoing nationwide lockdown - being enforced to cull the spread of COVID-19 - has thrown India’s lower middle class into the deep-end.
People who fall in the Rs 5,000 - Rs 15,000 monthly income bracket - office assistants, data entry operators, salespersons, receptionists, beauticians - have been badly hit, with many not getting their salaries in the past two months.
But, while people categorised below the poverty line have schemes tailored to help them out, the lower middle class is in no-man’s land - unable to avail incentives and with no source of income.
A BPL family with a white ration card, for instance, can get Rs 1,500 financial aid and 12 kg rice - in Telangana - and is also entitled for assistance from the Centre as relief.
The focus of most aid programmes of both the government and NGOs is people who are traditionally perceived poor and who are indeed poor but the lower middle class, who are also in dire need of assistance have been left out.