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In UP, couple picks popular word 'Lockdown' as newborn’s name

Villagers welcomed 'popular name'

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 2.04.20, 4:16 AM
  • Updated 2.04.20, 5:13 AM
  • 2 mins read
People maintain distance while collecting ration from a PDS centre in Lucknow on Wednesday. (PTI)

Much after the countrywide lockdown ends, Deoria in Uttar Pradesh will continue to see a “Lockdown”.

A child born in Deoria on March 28 during the coronavirus-triggered restrictions has been named “Lockdown” by his parents.

Neerja Devi, the mother, wished that Lockdown would live for 200 years and do “memorable” things for humankind.

Pawan Kumar, the father who is a farmer in Khukhund village, was asked if he had considered naming his son “Covid-19”.

Kumar broke out into laughter and said: “It sounds a bit weird. But ‘lockdown’ is a popular word these days and my son has become famous within a few hours of his naming ceremony on Tuesday. We had discussed the name with many villagers and all of them agreed.”

Neerja said: “He is my first child. He was born at a community health centre near my village on March 28. The doctors and other staff helped us a lot. It was a great moment for us and we want to make it memorable for everyone. We had never heard of the word lockdown before. I can say that as of today, there is only one Lockdown on this earth. But I am sure there will be many more in the coming days.”

“He will live for 200 years and do memorable things for others,” the proud mother added.

A villager said the residents of Khukhund welcomed Lockdown.

“We support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to lock down India to protect us from the coronavirus and so we welcome Lockdown and wish him all the best,” the villager said.

Another villager said: “Our newborn Lockdown will always remind us of the highhandedness of police during these 21 days (of the coronavirus-linked lockdown), the rise of black-marketeers, the sufferings of lakhs of labourers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who were mistreated, insulted, washed and dragged to isolated places without any arrangements for food and water in the name of quarantining them.”

The villager was referring to officials spraying about 100 migrant labourers with sodium hypochlorite, a disinfectant, in Bareilly on Sunday. The state government is yet to take action against the Nagar Nigam and fire brigade officials who had ordered the spraying.

“From notebandi (demonetisation) to deshbandi (lockdown), our economy is going down. Every time, it is the middle and lower income groups that have suffered. Infant Lockdown will grow up and keep reminding us of all these things. We have heard that a child was named Khajanchi (treasurer) during notebandi. Now we have Lockdown during deshbandi,” a villager said.

A boy was named Khajanchi Nath during demonetisation as his mother Sarveshwari Devi’s water broke while standing in a queue at the gate of a bank in Kanpur to withdraw cash on November 31, 2016. Some other women in the queue had taken her to a nearby hospital where the baby was born.

Then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had given Rs 2 lakh in cash to the parents of Khajanchi and also a house. Samajwadi Party members celebrate the boy’s birthday every year.

A message sent to Akhilesh on WhatsApp asking if he had similar plans for Lockdown did not elicit a response.