Strike, which began on Wednesday, Feb 20 has been called by 11 trade union bodies.
As the entire country has come to a grinding halt, many daily-wage earners are left with no choice, but to stay at home. For millions of daily-wage earners mostly engaged in construction and other small and sundry works, Bharat Bandh means no earning and no food.
"I work daily to win my bread and butter. Today, the road-side tea-stall where I work won't be opened, as the owner can't travel such far distances, due to less availability of public transport. I have no option, but go without food for the day," lamented Satish, who works as a cleaner in a roadside tea-stall in Bangalore.
The plight of the workers have aggravated as public transport facilities are hardly available in most part of the cities across the country.
A native of Bihar, Raghuveer, who works as a coolie (labourer) in Bangalore City Railway station says that footfall of passengers at the station is steady.
"But, yes, our work has been affected. Many like me will have to bear losses today. The strike is not going to do any good to the workers and labourers," said Raghuveer in his chaste Hindi.
Opinions surrounding the nation-wide strike are varied. Few believe that wrong government policies are the reasons behind the Bandh called by trade unions.
Most of the Indian cities, including New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore have come to an abrupt halt, where daily life has been affected severely.
The Bandh has been called by 11 trade union bodies. Some of the trade unions, who are participating in the strike, are - Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and many others. The Bandh has been called against privatisation, outsourcing, violation of labour laws, and price rise.
Earlier government appointed senior leaders of UPA AK Antony, Sharad Pawar and Mallikarjun Kharge to meet the trade union members. But, talks failed. "The government has nothing to offer. We are going ahead with the strike. We expect it to be hugely successful," said CITU president A K Padmanabhan, after talks failed.