Just a few months ago Kartik Maiti, a resident of Baharpota village in Pashkura Police Station limits in West Bengal's East Midnapore district, was a chef of a well-known cruise company of United States of America. But, as lockdown has been imposed across the world to prevent coronavirus spreading, he has now resorted to selling vegetables in his native village to sustain his livelihood.

Kartik's father was a daily wage labourer. So, it was hard for Kartik to even complete his secondary education. But he managed to obtain a degree in hotel management from a reputed institution, in keeping with his childhood dream of going abroad and earning large sums of money to provide for his family.

To fulfil his dream, he borrowed money from local money lenders at high interest rates. After completing his hotel management course, he went to the USA and bagged a job as a chef at Carnival Cruise Company.

Everything seemed to be going as per his dream. After working in the US company for 10 months, Karthik returned home on vacation in March. He also repaid all the loans he borrowed and handed over the rest of the money to his father. But within a few days of his return, darkness arrived in the form of the coronavirus pandemic which struck the world. All international flights were cancelled. India, USA - both the countries issued lockdown. Thousands of COVID-19 deaths were reported from America.

The money Karthik gave to his father gradually ran out and it was not possible for him to go back to his previous job. All the restaurants, hotels, cruise services in the USA are now closed and nobody can say when the services will return. So, Karthik has chosen to sell vegetables in his village of Baharpota.

“My father is an old man. He stopped working for a long time. Our family is in financial crisis. So, I chose to sell vegetables. The little money I earn from here brings a smile on the faces of my family. I'm gonna walk this path for some time now, until the situation returns to normal”, said Kartik.