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The general populace was unprepared and could not foresee what would be the effect of COVID-19 pandemic. In India, lockdown began on 25 March. Public places, institutions, offices, markets and services were shut. As the number of COVID-19 positive cases began to rise, the initial first phase of lockdown for 21 days was extended for 19 days and again for 14 days. It then went on with partial easing with certain conditions.

The pandemic and the lockdown have caused severe impacts not only on health but on the livelihood of people across India. The situation was hard to endure for many, particularly for the majority of people who are collectively and loosely called "migrant workers".

People from the northeast states of India, who are studying or working in different cities, were also hard hit. A study done by the Centre for North East Study and Policy Research in 2013 found that about 200,000 youths from the northeast states reside in Delhi alone, while it is roughly estimated that over 414,850 have migrated out of their states into various metro cities during 2005-2010. The northeast states include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura.

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