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Locking down the country in March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unwittingly triggered acute unemployment and mass migration. "We will die poor," said one migrant who struggled to return home.   © Reuters
The Big Story

India's migrant exodus foreshadows an economic crisis

Modi's lockdown hit the poorest hard. His recovery plan may leave millions more behind

MEGHA BAHREE, Contributing writer | India

NEW DELHI -- Chiles and dried mango powder have helped Govind Jogi swallow handfuls of plain boiled rice -- the only food on which he and his wife have survived these past two months.

Jogi, 21, usually works as a seller of idlis, a savory rice cake, at a roadside stand in Ahmedabad, a city in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. Along with millions of other migrant workers, his income vanished overnight when Modi on March 25 imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to rein in the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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