At least 90% of India's workforce is employed in the informal sector, according to the International Labour Organization, working in roles like security guards, cleaners, rickshaw pullers, streets vendors, garbage collectors and domestic helps.
Most do not have access to pensions, sick leave, paid leave or any kind of insurance. Many do not have bank accounts, relying on cash to meet their daily needs.
Lots are migrant workers, which means that they are technically residents of a different state to the one where they work. Then there is the problem of the floating population: people who do not live in any state for a long period as they move around to find work.
All governments need to act lightning fast because the situation is changing every day. We need to activate big community kitchens and deliver food to people who need it. We need to hand out cash or rice and wheat - irrespective of who comes from which state.
Manoharan , who works as rickshaw puller in the Southern city of tamilnadu , said he had not made any money in the past Four days.
"The shop shut down two days ago and I haven't been paid. I don't know when it will open. I am very scared. I have a family, how am I going to feed them?" he asked.