India's economy at risk as pandemic shrinks middle class

Blow from Covid-19 may lead to stagnant economy in long term, rise in urban poverty

In February last year, Mr Jaishankar Kumar Bharti, 37, was filled with hope for a stable future after buying an auto-rickshaw to drive passengers in Delhi. Then, the pandemic hit and lockdowns shut down all economic activity. Unable to keep up the lo
In February last year, Mr Jaishankar Kumar Bharti, 37, was filled with hope for a stable future after buying an auto-rickshaw to drive passengers in Delhi. Then, the pandemic hit and lockdowns shut down all economic activity. Unable to keep up the loan repayments, he has had his vehicle repossessed. PHOTO: COURTESY OF JAISHANKAR KUMAR BHARTI
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When Mrs Manisha (who goes by only her first name) was hospitalised with Covid-19 last month, the family thought it would be for only a few days.

But the 58-year-old's health started deteriorating even as medical bills have continued to mount, pushing the family deeper into a financial crisis.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2021, with the headline India's economy at risk as pandemic shrinks middle class. Subscribe