THE SOCIAL STIGMA CREATED BY COVID-19, Amrita Saha part of the crew of Indigo Airlines and one among several air hostesses who were flying to bring back citizens stranded abroad to India had no idea about the humiliation faced by her mother at home as she was helping people reach homes. While Amrita was away, her mother was harassed by practically everyone around and had to fight against the whole society to survive. According to her, “My neighbours started it all with spreading rumours that I’m suffering from Coronavirus. I work with a reputed company which is taking all the necessary precautions to keep us and everyone safe. Whenever I was on my duty, some people would come over to my place and harass my mother. She couldn’t go to the market because people refused to give her groceries saying that your daughter has Coronavirus and so do you.”
Illiteracy and ignorance at its peak! This went on for quite some time until her video message went rounds on social media and forced the local police to take necessary actions.
She later said, “Things are better now because everyone knows that we have police with us, so there’s nothing said to our face but I know people’s mindset is still like I’ll be responsible for spreading the virus.”
She explained her experience of being almost outcast in her own neighbourhood with people ignoring and avoiding them constantly. She blames ignorance for all the unnecessary harassment and says that their maid and cook have refused to come to their home as they might lose their jobs in other homes of the same locality. “But it’s okay since there’s a lockdown, even we don’t want them to come in these circumstances”, said Amrita.
Asked about her post-lockdown plans, she said that she’s prepared for the worst and isn’t expecting any change of mindset of the people. In spite of all these, she believes in serving people without discrimination and expects the same from her fellow countrymen.