Jugyai — Most days, you can find Dayaram Kushwaha and his wife, Gyanvati, hauling bricks for stonemasons in a booming northern suburb of New Delhi. They bring their five-year-old son, who plays in the dirt while they work.

But now a hush has come over the clattering construction site, silenced by India’s nationwide order to shelter in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Site managers no longer come to the intersection where Dayaram and many others stand, hoping to pick up work...

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