How Has the COVID-19 Crisis Affected the Urban Poor?

Afridi, Dhillon and Roy (researchers from Indian Statistical Instituteand King’s College London) have conducted daily phone surveys of respondents in Delhi’s industrial areas to capture the ground realities as they evolve. The sample consists of almost 1,500 households in 10 industrial estates (for example, Mongolpuri, Wazirpur and Shahadra) spread across Delhi. The majority of the sample consists of daily-wage workers in factories, construction, or self-employed in the informal sector (for example, petty business, small retail shops).


Livelihood The vast majority of the workers in these residential areas (91% of the men) have been completely unable to work. Around 85% of the respondents who were employed before the lockdown have not earned any income from their main occupation while over half (53%) of those who were employed before 24 March did not receive their full salary for the month of March. Public Transfers and Assistance 35% of respondents report not getting access to adequate food and essential items. Similarly, 30% said that they did not receive adequate medical help when needed. 47% of the respondents report receiving some kind of assistance or help during the lockdown: 89% of the respondents received assistance from the government, 12% received assistance from friends and relatives, and 4% received assistance from other sources such as the local political leader, NGO, etc. Emotional well-being Almost 85% of the women report feeling worried about the physical health of their families compared to 81% of men. 63% of men report feeling depressed about their situation while 65% of women do so. Almost 75% of women felt anxious or nervous about the current situation compared to 61% of men, and more than 1/3rd of both women and men have trouble getting adequate sleep. Across the board, women appear to be more stressed than men
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  • Delhi (NCT)


  • Research report


  • Livelihoods
  • Social Protection