Dang: Need for temporary clinics for medical examination to prevent spread of COVID-19

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Letter to the Chairman, District Disaster Management Authority, Taluka Ahwa, District Dang, Gujarat State, demanding protection and mitigation measures during the COVID 19 epidemic:

  1. As Dang district is connected to the state of Maharashtra on three sides. Besides highways, there are also roads to enter in Dang district which do not have any supervision. We demand that police and GRDs be provided on such roads, especially Navapur, Chinchli, Galkund, Pipaldahad, and Malunga areas. Medical officer should also be kept with the police and GRD so that proper medical examination can be conducted.
  2. In Dang District, temporary clinic for medical examination should be started at level of Group Gram Panchayat by making cluster, so that the disease can be prevented in the villages. Those who are coming from outside should be kept in a secluded place like village school or chavdi instead of sending them to their houses without checking so that the infection does not spread. The village school or chavdis should be converted into quarantine centres for people of that particular village.
  3. Every year more than half of the population from the Dang district is employed in sugar factories and this year, too, people have been employed in sugar factories in Surat and are stuck there. Safe transportation should be arranged to enable stuck workers to reach their homes safely and until they reach home, arrangement of necessities of life should be made for them wherever they are.
  4. The village leaders, panchayat officials and village level workers should be trained in prevention and safety and materials should be provided to raise awareness. (Leaflets, mobile messages, advertisement on loudspeakers, posters etc.) Also, they should be given all the tools they need so they can survive the epidemic.
  5. Many students from Dang district go to out of the city for studies. At this time, arrangement for safe transportation should be provided to bring back the students who are stuck outside the villages.
  6. Dang district is a Schedule V Area and comes under the ambit of the PESA Act, wherein various village level committees have been formed, such as resource and planning management committees, peace committees, surveillance committees, etc. During this epidemic, the government can co-ordinate with these committees and come up with a plan at the village level. For example, to identify who is the most vulnerable in the village, the Gram Sabha can give a list. Appropriate steps can be taken after knowing who came from outside in the village or who has gone outside.
  7. Due to the low employment opportunities in Dang district, people migrate for work. During times of epidemic, it is difficult for daily wagers to earn a living. Hence, after taking Gram Sabha’s advice, those who need financial help should be paid a 30 days advance under MNREGA and should get ration as needed.
  8. Together with the leaders of the Gram Sabha, a list should be made of natural resources which can be beneficial at the time of this epidemic, and with the help of the youth of the village, collection and distribution of such material should be done.
  9. Two months amount under Vrudha & Ashakt Jan pension schemes, Vidhva Sahay schemes and other social welfare schemes should be deposited along with the pending amount under the scheme.
  10. At the village level, ration should be distributed as per the number of family members and as per the requirement rather than the card which a person holds. Facilitate ration for those who are stuck outside the village or those outsiders who are stuck in the district.
  11. The information of the district emergency centers should be disseminated to the villages through the Panchayats and a committee should be created at the Panchayat level for the same.
  12. Where farmers are producing vegetables or livelihood products, a committee should be formed under the supervision of the panchayat for the sale of the produced goods in the village.
  13. Most of the villages in Dang district are in the remote areas. Due to lack of access to transportation, it is difficult to get the essential items of the day. Facilities should be in place wherein all such essential items are available at the ration shops. Also, the benefits received from Anganwadis should be distributed by village volunteers from house to house.
  14. Students in the village should be given books, illustrations about COVID 19 so that they can survive the epidemic and inform others too and disseminate accurate information regarding the same.
  15. School education can be continued through loudspeakers so that education of the children in the villages does not suffer and it can also be used for giving instructions by coordinating with panchayats or religious places.
  16. The limit of withdrawal amount set by the banks should be changed. In order to avoid inconvenience to the grassroots level people, such structures should be created that people can withdraw their money.

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