Kamal Haasan writes open letter to Modi, 'save the livelihood of millions' amid COVID-19 outbreak

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 24, 2020, 11.46 AM(IST)

File photo of Kamal Hassan. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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As of now, most of India is into complete lockdown with trains and buses shut down and borders between the states of the country closed for movement.

Kamal Haasan has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take "swift steps to save the livelihood" of millions in the country's workforce.

In an open letter addressed to Modi, he wrote, "...More than 90 per cent of our workforce is the informal sector who make their daily ends meet. If we consider the workforce even in the 'formal' sector that does not enjoy standard employee benefits, this could be more than 95%. They are our construction workers, agriculture and manual labourers, fishermen, MSME workers and so on.”

The actor-politician urged the “Government to not lose sight of the plight of these unsung heroes who toil hard to power our economy and build our nation. The 'Economic Response task force' set up by the government needs to address the issue with alacrity.”

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Economic experts, he wrote, had suggested measures like tax breaks, deferred credits and grants.

"The taskforce should ensure that there is no drop in wages of our labour force. It should also consider direct cash transfer to this most vulnerable populace to enable them tide over this crisis," he wrote.

"While human lives are in danger and all steps need to be taken to save them, the fear of virus should not be compounded by the fear of loss of livelihood," Kamal Haasan said in the two-page letter.

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Read the full letter here:

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As of now, most of India is into complete lockdown with trains and buses shut down and borders between the states of the country closed for movement -- so as to reduce the chances of the contagious virus spreading to densely populated areas. At such a time while the government and private sector employees are being paid while they stay at home, the unaccounted for workforce that is the daily wage labourers are the most hit.