Trapped without work, wages or food and facing the world’s strictest lockdown, 140 million migrant labourers begin to leave Mumbai, the city they toiled to build.
As Coronavirus hit India, with just four hours’ notice, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a complete lockdown for over a billion people. In Mumbai, the city worst hit by Covid, the scenes on the streets reveal the deep structural inequalities the pandemic has thrown open. 140 million migrant labourers, stuck without work or food, begin leaving for their homes in faraway villages, sleeping on pavements or under the flyovers they once laboured to build. Their only hope is each other.
Made by renowned documentarians Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, The Great Abandonment feels historically and culturally specific, but also tragically timeless in its sensitive portrayal of the displacement of desperate people.