The state of Uttar Pradesh, India, has been very stringent on lockdown procedures, especially in Agra, a prominent tourist attraction around the world, as well as the home to the Taj Mahal. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ravikant Sharma, a software engineer, who recently observed a drastic change in his life following the lockdown of Agra.
Ravikant works in the engineering field, and his workspace has been moved to his own home, which has stirred some frustration within both him, and his colleagues. “We are receiving a little less pay now, and it is very difficult to stay home to work,” explained Ravikant, as he is part of a house of 20. “It is quite hectic every day, and in Agra, Saturday and Sunday are lockdown days; you cannot go out.”
When asked about how he had responded to COVID-19 with a house full of 20 people, Ravikant explained the cautiousness that everyone exhibits, properly sanitizing and social distancing in order to “keep everyone in such a big house safe.”
For Ravikant, this pandemic has been quite frightening. His house lies just 600 meters away from the Taj Mahal, the jewel of India, as well as one of the most appealing prospects for tourists planning to visit India. “It is absolutely unsettling to see no life around the Taj Mahal,” said Ravikant, who frequently commented on the past vitality of Agra in general.
Though the pandemic has clearly been a very challenging experience for Ravikant, he has also been incredibly receptive to the good that has come out of it. For starters, India’s environmental status has gone up tremendously along with the rest of the world. On top of that, “Indian medical facilities are at an all-time peak,” remarked Ravikant, and there is much more attention paid to health centers now, especially by the government.
Clearly, no labor sector has been spared as seen through Ravikant’s experience, but nonetheless, he has still been accepting of the unprecedented difficulties, and looks to “move forward in the most positive fashion.”
Amit Krishna Kallakuri is an honor student at Holmdel High School and an intern for TAPinto Holmdel. Kallakuri is covering many topics including a COVID-19 perspective from India.