By IMPRI Team
This panel discussion was related to the working experiences of various professionals especially in the wake of the second wave of COVID in Indian villages. It was organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi by the joint efforts of Parmarth Sevi Sanstha (Uttar Pradesh). This discussion was another episode of the Panel Discussions organized by the institute for all the states of the country, whose central point should be the rural reality of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the issues related to it.
This program was initiated by Ritika Gupta (Assistant Director) of “Institute of Impact and Policy Research”. Dr Simi Mehta (Chief Executive Officer and Editorial Director, Impact and Policy Research Institute) while preparing the background for this panel discussion, while welcoming all the visitors said that the goal of this is to find out by presenting a proper discussion. What is the present status of the second wave of COVID in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and what are the efforts being made at the ground level by various stakeholders in this regard?
The list of eminent panellists who mainly participated in this panel discussion is as follows- Dr Smt. F. Kazmi (Executive Director, NGO “Parvarish Child Development & Health Care Institute”), Dr Sanjay Singh (Waterman of Bundelkhand, Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Seva Sansthan), Dr Yogesh Kumar (Founder Member & Executive Director, Support – Development Assistance Centre), Shri Devi Das (Farmer MG, Support), Ms Abha Sharma (Director, Judav Foundation, Bhopal), Shri Bhupesh Tiwari (President, Fellow Social Service Organization, Chhattisgarh). Mr Rakesh Paliwal (Retd. Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) and Mrs Anjali Noronha (Fellow, Eklavya) and Dr Anshuman Karoli (Lead – Local Government, Priya, (PRIA) New Delhi) etc.
Initiating the panel discussion, Dr Sanjay Singh (Waterman, Bundelkhand, Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan) first thanked all the visitors for taking out their time for this discussion. Further, to introduce the important role of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on the national stage, accepting Madhya Pradesh as the heart of the country, described its geographical structure and ethnicity etc.
It is to be known that a large boundary of Madhya Pradesh is connected with Maharashtra state, this state is rich in biodiversity with forest density of Satpura and Narmada river valley. Apart from this, this state is primarily a tribal-dominated area, which is also the residence of the population of the poorest sections of the society. Also, there has been an old tradition of migrant workers in this area, especially the tales of “Bilaspuri” labourers of Chhattisgarh state are well known.
Further, Dr Sanjay Singh expects practical recommendations for today’s discussion on the lines of the success and recommendations of the discussion held on the same subject in the context of the state of Uttar Pradesh on the previous day itself (May 19, 2021).
At the same time, while sharing his personal work experiences of Gwalior, Chambal, etc. areas of the state, he envisaged improvement in the situation of the second wave of Covid in the next 15 days by these recommendations, saying that these would especially benefit the farming class, Because the rainy season is also near in the state.
With this hope and confidence, Dr. Singh, after his opening remarks, took a pause and again invited the other panelists and the debaters for the discussion by thanking them.
In the next sequence of discussion, “Ms Ramya Kathal and Ms. Mahima Kapoor”, a member of the team of ‘Institute of Impact and Policy Research’, shared the second wave of Covid-19 and infection rate, health facilities in the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
Availability, challenges of vaccination and other related issues in a brief presentation on issues etc., in the context of these two states, sharing a comparative study with the help of demographic, socio-economic, etc. indicators including updated data, made them aware of the ground reality of both the states and the health progress and health of these states. Wishing prosperity, all the visitors are invited to share their views for a fruitful discussion.
First of all, Ms. Abha Sharma (Director, Judav Foundation, Bhopal) while congratulating the entire team of Impact and Policy Research Institute and sharing her thoughts said that we have corrected the time between Phase I and Phase II of Covid. Made a huge mistake in the assessment, as a result of which there was a sudden increase in the number of cases of infection and death of this global epidemic.
Another reason for this was also that we showed delay and inaction in taking many management and policy decisions while showing laxity towards this epidemic. In this context, the states have lost their state human resources on a large scale in the grip of this menace by not properly calculating the reality and magnitude of health crises.
Also, health management remained at the lowest level due to a lack of medical facilities, such as medical buildings, non-availability of staff, etc. Apart from this, a large number of Covid infected cases were seen in every household in the state, but the situation became challenging due to a lack of accurate government data.
In the same sequence, due to the non-availability of proper address and numerical proof of migrant workers and unemployed, the state’s maximum youth population of 30-35 age group is falling victim to this health malformation, so collective efforts are needed in this direction. urgently needed.
Drawing attention to another challenge related to vaccination, he shared that this vaccination process is being misused. Giving examples of this, he said that the difficulty and ignorance regarding registration of people in the villages has violated the health rights of the villagers by providing access to the people of the city to the vaccination centres set up for the villagers.
Also, when questioned in this matter at those health centers, the medical staff made another revelation saying that there is still a trend of reluctance among the villagers regarding vaccination. So how to address this problem is a serious question.
In the end, Ms. Sharma, in collaboration with her organization “Judaav Foundation” and other voluntary organizations, shared about the COVID relief work being done in the state distribution of 20,000 N5 masks during the last 3 months, protective measures to the frontline workers etc.
Creating awareness etc.) and other efforts (the work of building confidence among the rural people about vaccination in the areas of Bastar of Madhya Pradesh and the remotest block of Udaipur of Rajasthan by the team, Providing ration kits and medical facilities at community health centers – ensuring availability of oxygen etc.) and shared personal experiences (how he got Dr. Sridhar’s medical help in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh).
At the same time, he suggested taking initiatives based on a decentralized system to the religious gurus and patwaris (a patwari or lokhpal is a village level officer in the revenue department) in the direction of increasing awareness about vaccination.
Simultaneously, keeping in mind the risk of the coming third wave of COVID, the doctors of the state were also concerned, citing the need to be vigilant towards the children of the state.
Further, Dr. Yogesh Kumar (Founder Member and Executive Director, Samarth – Development Assistance Centre) spoke while sharing the basic problems and aspects related to the second phase of the COVID pandemic in the state. He said that it is to be known that a large number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (tribal majority areas) in both the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The population is inhabited and they have always been lagging behind in the order of general development, from this point of view also this global calamity seems to be an attack at the local level.
In this context, the condition of rural women is even more critical as the problem of health and malnutrition also exists before them.
In addition, there is a complete lack of trust infrastructure in rural areas in the wake of covid, due to which voluntary organizations are facing many challenges at the grassroots level in order to provide basic and useful support to the people. Also, in the rural areas of the states, home-isolation facilities and the protocol related to it are not being followed seriously due to lack of adequate and proper means, due to which this disaster took a formidable form, so it is also problematic for health workers. The topic is coming up.
Apart from this, Dr. Kumar informed that many such cases have also come to light in the state where the sole earning member has died and this has led to the problem of food and hunger along with financial crisis on the whole family, resulting in poverty. The situation has also happened. In the time of this calamity, the role of voluntary organizations has also been particularly visible – their work at the community level and medical and medical facilities in rural primary health centres and government hospitals etc.
By providing other personal help, a pleasant picture has been presented in the direction of the diligence of civil organizations etc. At the same time, he said that in this critical time, such organizations need to work with the State Governments, Health Departments etc., showing commitment at the Panchayat and local level.
In view of this second wave of COVID, all citizens need to voluntarily follow the government guidelines regarding proper COVID behavior such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distance etc.
Along with this, many issues related to Covid before the villagers – non-availability of medical facilities (non-availability of ambulance etc.) even at the district level, problems of farmers (related to Kharif crops, seeds etc.), suffering from Covid (earning a living apart from the deceased member) There is no one for this) the economic problem of the family, the concerns about the MGNREGA and cash income of the workers at the village level, etc. are prominently present.
Social and Economic Security
Continuing the discussion, Shri Devi Das (Farmer MG, Support) while referring to the spread of COVID infection in rural areas of Chhattisgarh state said that people kept on treating this global pandemic as a “seasonal disease” and kept falling prey to it. Another aspect of the rapid spread in these areas is that since there is a community-based society with which every person is a fabric, whether it is a public place (pond) or drinking water system in the village.
When it comes to resources related to social distancing, there were few opportunities for social distancing behavior among people, which is a very important measure and government guideline in covid prevention.
In addition, there is a need for micro-level implementation in order to control the infection. Also, sharing a personal experience, he mentioned the challenge of migrant workers returning to their states and quarantining them.
With the workers returning to their states affected by this second wave of Covid, the quarantine protocol was negligent in planting crops keeping in mind the rainy season, making these cases uncontrollable in rural areas.
The biggest hit of this wave was also seen on the women domestic workers of the state (women working in 50 cities around Raipur), they lost their work, which had a direct impact on the lives of their children, they also roamed- Keep wandering around in search of work. Therefore, ensuring the social and economic security of such classes will prove to be an effective step in this direction as well.
Ret. Pankaj Pandey shared his experience giving details of the horrors of this second wave of Covid with statistics in the context of Madhya Pradesh. He told that he is practicing in about 13 districts of tribal areas of the state through his organization “Samarthan”.
During the organization’s survey, they specifically selected households from 21 blocks in 12 districts and reported that they completely covered 9 out of 13 districts in their survey. Apart from this, he attributed the lowest level of education and awareness here as the reason behind the second wave taking a fierce form in these areas.
Further shared the positive rate of cases of Covid infection of this region and especially the case study of Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh, under which – a different view of government figures and actual figures (in the survey conducted till May 8, 2021, Barwani During the case-study of about 39785 families of 12 districts of the district, it was found that out of total 2868 cases in 96 villages of a block, 287 died. Which was registered in the name of 35 people according to government records and death certificates were issued in favor of only 11 people. ), such situations are not only confusing but also challenging in the direction of handling this disaster properly.
In the end, Mr. Pankaj Pandey, while discussing the suggestive aspects, also informed about 20-22,000 youth volunteers of his organization, who have been associated for the last 4 years, to support their efforts in this calamity.
Further, with reference to the government, said that under various schemes of socio-economic security running in the state through a survey (7 types of skill development scheme, Sabal Yojana, National Family Assistance Scheme) A free assistance of Rs.10,000/- is provided to the heir head of the family in case of natural/accidental death who is more than 65 years of age.)
In order to take the initiative to give proper direction to the rural beneficiaries by giving minimum financial amount to the rural beneficiaries under a clear strategy by documenting, or for the beneficiaries who withdraw money from ATMs in 90 days, also seek cooperation from civil service organizations.
The priority should be to address their problems in the right sense.
At the same time, Dr. Gajendra Singh (Health Officer, UNICEF, Chhattisgarh) shared a different view about this phase of Covid, saying that although this virus was there since last year, but then we did not see so many cases, its one The reason is also believed to be that at this time, the accelerating government efforts of Covid-testing going on in the country also registered a proportionate increase in the figures of infection, as a result of which the cases of death of Covid also increased.
At the same time, the state governments were also mistaken in understanding the nature of this global epidemic, without anticipating its dire consequences, they gave free rein to the general public by giving a free hand to the general public and vaccination (the youth of the country right now). Compared to the population, especially the people of 45 years or above, the age group of 60 years or above are vulnerable to this wave) while living – themselves invited for the orgy of Covid.
Apart from this, he also challenged the presumptuous behavior of the villagers towards this epidemic. According to the current information of the Government of India, Covid cases have decreased in places like Chhattisgarh, Indore in Madhya Pradesh etc. There is also a challenge in this direction, on what basis rural and urban areas are selected and classified in the direction of policy making and data collection.
Therefore, to get rid of these assessment-related weaknesses, providing correct data to the civil society while bearing the responsibilities along with the state government is an absolute trick. At the same time, he stressed that in this phase, attention will have to be paid to aspects like surveillance, testing, isolation and counselling at the village level.
Also, keeping this wave in mind, appropriate therapeutic initiatives under L1 and L2 need to be properly grounded. Testing is an essential step without ignoring the symptoms of infection in any way, as well as there is a need to identify and trace such corona carriers, who are not performing their duty by not showing awareness of the symptoms and testing.
In addition, Dr Singh shared the highlights of the Government of India’s press briefing on the upcoming plans for COVID on the same day.
Round the clock COVID control room at the village and district level and also to come forward towards the implementation of effective mechanisms.
Apart from this, by making available sufficient quantities of oximeters, thermometers, etc. at the village level, there will be no delay in the symptoms of Covid in the villagers, for this the role of public movement and volunteers becomes indispensable.
The concept of testing can be worked out in only two ways at the village level – one mobile testing for every 10 villages – availability of vans and in order to speed up testing, testing methods like rapid antigen test will have to be adopted.
Along with this, it is necessary to work towards providing proper arrangements for testing of Covid at all primary, community health and sub-centres, providing adequate quantity of medicines and etc. in Jan Aushadhi centers along with other medical facilities. For this, communities are organized. There is a great need for future action plans on socio-economic issues at the grassroots level, in the end, he also cited the efforts of UNICEF.
Role of Government Institutions
In this discussion, Mr Bal Paritosh Das (Social Security, UNICEF, Chhattisgarh) shared his views on institutional initiatives to address the problems arising out of the second wave of COVID, giving a comprehensive overview of the working of the United Nations Children’s Fund. He explained how this phase, while affecting the health system in a harmful way, also poses a challenge to the assessment and response aspects.
This global pandemic not only damaged the health system but also left a devastating impact on the socio-economic system and almost all indicators of rural development including children.
In the context of multi-dimensional poverty, both the states – Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have seen results of 44% and 12% respectively in comparison to urban areas. Also, during this time all the indicators like health, nutrition, water supply, sanitation, child protection and child marriage etc. should be badly damaged. In the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state (which is an operational district), the vulnerability rate was high due to Covid and widespread lockdown.
Further, Mr. Das described mainly two types of impacts-
- The multiple, mass lockdowns imposed in the states affected the livelihood very closely and significantly.
- In this phase of this epidemic, examples of problems and public damage of children and orphans were found across the state, but the plight of migrant workers crossing the border of the states in the previous phase was not seen. But this time, the problem of food production etc. dominated them on the return of their habitats during the farming season.
Also, due to the lack of face-to-face interviews on issues of children and women in the states, the situation is not being assessed properly.
Therefore, in the context of the above-mentioned effects, Shri Das stressed on the role of all civil society and non-governmental organizations for a speedy resolution and expressed the expectation of their cooperation. Along with this, he also expressed concern over the badly affected children’s education during the Corona period, saying that it is seriously pushing their development towards oblivion. Apart from this, the services of pregnant women in rural areas such as their prenatal care and iron deficiency problems etc. remained stable during this period.
Although the provisional level report on MGNREGA and PDS is not yet published in the state, which has hindered the assessment of social security schemes, the more serious problem remains in the tribal areas here.
At the same time, the reach of Divyangjan, old-age pension schemes is only 2-3% at the village level and the reach of the Maternity Security Benefit Scheme is slightly less, which is less than 50%.
In this sequence, it was told that they are discussing all the information and issues related to the important role of the Panchayati Raj Institution in the Bastar region. At the same time, appealing for public cooperation to improve awareness of security schemes, said that all of us various stakeholder groups are just like a pearl in this “ocean of society”, whose sole purpose is to prosper and enrich the society.
Another speaker, Shri Shyamsunder Yadav (Lok Shakti Samiti, Chhattisgarh) started his ideas by referring to the economic background of the state of Chhattisgarh. He said that undoubtedly the state has an abundance of resources (different identity across the country in terms of industrial and mineral, energy and steel industries etc.), but with many challenges.
During the second wave of Covid, it was seen that in urban and rural areas of the state, the whole family was affected due to the infection of one member of a family, so in this direction, there is a need to analyze such cases in two forms for the correct assessment of the data. What is needed is an overview of the situation before and after Covid, etc.
In this context, he suggested an appeal for the cooperation of volunteers including women groups, communities and gram panchayats under the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) in these rural areas (for example, increasing the infection rate by adopting the target of screening 300 villages).
Controlling the rate to some extent to avoid human damage) and also commented on the insensitivity of the efforts of the district administration in the second wave of this epidemic.
In the end, while also discussing the efforts of his organization, he said that arrangements for home isolation, proper counselling advice of vaccination, hospitalization in case of deterioration in the health of a person etc. are being done. Apart from this, through our organization, continuous dialogue is going on with the Panchayats across the state, as well as they appealed to the heads of different tribal communities and other communities to encourage the rural people at the local level for vaccination.
Shri Shyamsunder Yadav, while concluding his statement, described the situation of MGNREGA in the state of Chhattisgarh, as well as the condition of the orphan children suffering from this global calamity, under a comprehensive and clear strategy on behalf of the state for them as “legal guardian” or Make a succinct proposal terming the system of guardianship and rehabilitation as challenging.
Food, Shelter and Medical Service
Further, Shri Rishi Mishra (State Coordinator (Madhya Pradesh), Indo-Global Social Service Society) shared his views through a presentation on issues related to the current wave of COVID and suggestions for their solutions. He said – The increasing cases of Covid-infection have once again affected the industries and With the problem of reverse migration, the problem of food, shelter and medical services and livelihood arose in front of the villagers as a result of the halt of transport. Also, in this phase of Covid, the same form of destitution of the rural system was visible, whose brunt was suffered by the urban system last year.
Also, this wave saw several challenges at the village level of the states – inconclusive information, increased unscientific practices, inadequate testing and lack of medicine, poor health infrastructure, lack of disaster management plan at Panchayati Raj level etc.
Shri Mishra said that there was no such disaster management during this second wave, especially in the rural areas of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Apart from this, in both the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, it is inevitable to have a scheme or a committee at the Panchayati level so that the above-mentioned problems can be addressed at the local level.
Further, sharing information about his organization (Indo-Global Social Service Society), he told about the reach of his action plans to about 210 villages in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Along with this, it also said that how we have determined some identified action plans in order to deal with the Covid crisis through our team, for example – Government Response Scheme to Youth Volunteers (Cash Support for Economic Empowerment) and NREGA Scheme Enabling to support households in availing benefits, the realization of preparedness for COVID Appropriate Practices (CAB) information dissemination through correct information dissemination, vaccination and testing center information, scheme benefit information etc.
Expressing his views on other issues, he said that we need to decide how to address the aspects of family concerns and psychology counselling by adopting the approach of positive divergence at the village level while facing this wave of covid.
In this context, he concluded his talk by calling attention to the facts like pre-natal care of pregnant and lactating women and supplementary nutrition of young children in addition to Covid-vaccination.
Education and Awareness
Shri Bhupesh Tiwari (President, Saathi Samaj Seva Sanstha, Chhattisgarh) shared his personal experiences through his organization among the rural communities of Bastar district of the state in view of the current situation of Covid. He specifically mentioned three-tier problems-
- Real challenges at the ground level,
- Issues of education and awareness at the community level and
- Settlement of critical situations at the state administrative level, etc.
Under the rural system, administrative inadequacy or attitude, citing many other issues, lack of basic facilities of home-isolation in villages (absolute lack of extra rooms, toilets, bathrooms and water system in most of the houses) and proper implementation of protocols. Concern was expressed over non-compliance etc.
Apart from this, the lack of proper assessment of rural households by the government, only displaying the names of medicines through posters on the walls of health centers were some of the issues due to which the problem of Covid became acute. Also, due to the lack of food-collection instinct in the tribal areas (people of this community believe in getting things according to the need from nature) even after suffering from an infection, they themselves make all the arrangements for their family. Doing regular habits further increased the cases of Covid.
Giving information about the failure of home isolation in the state, Shri Tiwari condemned how the cases of infection have increased exponentially due to non-compliance of protocols in this direction.
In the same context, he said that while giving medicines to the people, the villagers do not have the knowledge of proper instructions (Medical-prescriptions are written in English language, how to take medicines etc. Due to lack of proper information about the use of other medical equipments (Oximeter, Oxygen-cylinder etc.), this problem is becoming serious.
Therefore, in order to control the rate of death, there is a need to give more emphasis on Institutional Quarantine Centers.
At the same time, there are misconceptions or misconceptions about the communities, encouraging more and more testing and vaccination at the village level. (So that it is only a few causative persons not to be blamed, such as testing or vaccinated on someone’s advice and found infected, resulting in the loss of a particular person’s life)Needs to be removed.
Since our State Governments are already burdened with duties, here in collaboration with the Civil Society, an ASHA worker was subjected to violence during the duty of vaccination on the basis of misconceptions (impotence and death) and the villagers protested. Local awareness has to be worked seriously so that the right information reaches the public about its real objectives.
In the end, Mr. Bhupesh Tiwari, while advocating for providing all the basic facilities at the quarantine centers in the village, also kept the view that due to the lack of uniformity in the circumstances and resources of each place, area etc. (generalization solution is not possible) on these. The same type of action plans cannot be implemented, therefore, considering the available conditions of the areas facing this direction, a decision will have to be taken and a solution will be found.
Concluding his discussion, requesting the district administration that “home-isolation” in Bastar should be stopped as soon as possible because it is a complete failure. At the same time, referring to the contradictory schemes in the case of the nutrition tracker at the village level, it too has been described as a failed strategy in fighting the calamity of Covid.
Also, Dr. K. F. Kazmi (Executive Director, NGO “Parvarish Child Development and Health Care Institute”) also made her presence felt in this discussion, keeping in mind this second wave of Corona, first of all, children and women health issues based on their experiences defined on. Dr. Kazmi, a Pediatrician, shared the issue of government directives on the controversial issue of immunization of unborn babies and pregnant women, especially in the context of this second wave of Covid in the context of children. As soon as symptoms appear, asked to take them seriously.
In addition, Dr. Kazmi, based on his many experiences related to rural society and other marginalized sections (an example of community intervention in urban slums, by women in the remotest village of Betul, at the village border for the effort of their Covid-free village, Taking initiative related to admission etc.)
Presenting an excellent example of awareness of mothers/women towards their children and communities, he said that there is an urgent need to make the villagers aware of their health issues by adopting friendly and simple behavior on their health issues.
In this sequence, while taking appropriate intervention by the government, understanding the seriousness of this global epidemic, the general public is aware of the seriousness of this global epidemic, proper prevention measures and practices (applying masks, frequent hand washing, the importance of vaccination, strict adherence to government protocols etc.) Appealed to make a possible and convenient plan in order to discharge the responsibilities.
At the same time, he advised to work seriously on many real aspects related to rural society and said that there is a need to not only coordinate with the villagers, but they also need to be provided leadership at the local level because they are the only ones who are responsible for their problems. By understanding it well, you can find a better solution for it.
Pathology and Gandhi Philosophy
The final speaker, Mr. Rakesh Paliwal (Retd. Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) made a realistic assessment of this second wave of Covid looking at the structures of these two states, mainly on the basis of two frameworks or perspectives – pathology and Gandhi philosophy. Share your views while giving advice.
While appealing to save the villages first in order to avoid the horrors of Covid, he suggested adopting the ideas of the Father of the Nation, Late Mahatma Gandhi, saying that it should be in the present rural scenario and not on the lines of ancient society.
In the same context, he based the data on the growth of the first and second wave of Covid (where in the first wave it took 3 months to go from 1000 to 1 lakh, in the second wave it increased from 10 thousand to 4 lakh cases within a span of days). But stating that it is difficult to fight this disaster, expressed concern about the failure of government schemes and not being effective on the ground (by the central and state governments taking policy decisions ignoring rural realities and diversity of India in closed AC rooms etc.)
Apart from this, considering the present scenario of Indian villages, the administrative officers were suggested to implement the schemes, especially in relation to the District Magistrate (Under the administrative system, an administrative officer has to travel from DM to Secretary for about 30 years, As a result, they get acquainted with the rural society for the first and last time only during the training period of their service).
Further, Shri Rakesh Paliwal said that only on the basis of the combined efforts of Gandhi Philosophy and the principles of pathology, the cases of Covid in the villages can be controlled and saved.
Also, the sequence of Covid preparedness has to be considered in advance so that large scale failures are not seen.
In the same sequence, while sharing the information about his administrative initiatives related to the preparedness of Covid in the state last month, he said that in this he provided detailed information about the schemes prepared by 36 NGOs of 12 states of the country.
It is in this context that he described how there are about 7 model villages in five parts of the country (mainly in Telangana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh) with some Gandhian institutions that are entirely (100%) tribal areas. and out of these basically, 4 come under the category of tribal villages) the initiative has been taken.
Also, during his speech, Mr. Paliwal shared many of his administrative experiences. On other aspects of planning, he explained the role of all the public representatives (Sarpanch, Panchayat Secretary and members of Panchayat) and various stakeholders of rural self-government unit (Patwari, Forest Guard, Police Constable, Anganwadi and Asha workers and NGOs etc.) at the Panchayat level. There is a need for strict adherence to development.
In sequence, it is also suggested that any one NGO in the direction of realizing the concept of an ideal village by adopting Gandhian approach. Also, he also criticized the NGOs and their financial irregularities and corrupt practices in the country.
There is a great need to work in totality on cleanliness, nutrition, drinking water, basic facilities etc.
In the direction of making self-reliant, capable and empowered at the micro level by taking full responsibility for the development of at least 5 villages of the state. .
In the end, he shared Gandhiji’s views as described in “Hind Swaraj” and said that there is only one bad thing in relation to the village and that is the terrible laziness and filth among the villagers – which always obstructs the path of their development. At the same time, it also claimed that the cleanliness mission has contributed to a great extent.
The challenges of rural sanitation have been reduced to the present. Also, giving information about the organization of webinar for 2 hours every week by 36 NGOs and their representatives from different states of the country mentioned above, describing it as necessary in the direction of micro level action plans of rural society, various media-groups By registering an objection to not appreciating or promoting the good works of such NGOs, he took a break from his words.
Anjali Noronha (Fellow, Eklavya) in the role of the talker, before giving her speech, remembering the eminent personality of the Indian medical world, Dr. Shekhar Agarwal, while paying a heartfelt tribute to it, calling it an irreparable loss to the medical system. Share your views advising to take this second phase of Covid seriously. Also, while analyzing the realities of rural society, some of the major points discussed are –
- Till the second wave of Covid did not come, there was an illusion in the rural society that this disease is limited only to the affluent and urban areas of the society, so they did not take precautions and the cases kept increasing.
- The leaders of the country registered an increase in this global epidemic by gathering crowds during the election campaign, while this time should have been for its prevention and awareness.
- In this phase, without doubting the aspect of disease carriers on the poor and domestic helpers, it is to be considered why the effect of corona in the rural system was very less even when a large number of migrant workers returned to the village last year.
- So how did the coronavirus mutants take on such a lethal form in this stage, leading to a deterioration in the circumstances.
- The new mutants of this coronavirus also hurt the urban system because proper covid prevention practices were not adopted – such as not wearing a mask properly, not following the instructions of social distance, vitamin-D deficiency due to use of air condition Due to which this flu-virus took a formidable form.
- Apart from this, Covid infected persons also increased the cases due to their irresponsible behaviour. Along with this, there is also a need to cross-examine the actual figures of infection and mortality, taking care of aspects like proper testing, vaccination etc.
- He talked about the confusion regarding vaccination for pregnant women due to the lack of vaccine-trial so far. Also, the sooner covid infected cases are identified on the basis of testing or symptoms, the more it will prove effective for health benefits.
- Along with this, proper prevention of Covid has to be included in our daily life habitually, for this also the help of NGOs can be taken.
- Further, he said that there is an urgent need to set up COVID quarantine centers instead of home-isolation. In this context, Mrs. Anjali Noronha expressed hope for more good work from the government department regarding the supply of basic facilities like bedsheets and other daily items in these centres. At the same time, describing the plight of several primary health centers in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh state, demanded from the government to revive them.
- Lastly, there is a need for the various health workers of the state – ASHA and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) etc. to work together to tackle COVID by formulating collaborative plans with the youth of the community.
Communication and Communication Strategies
In conclusion, the issues on which Dr. Anshuman Karoli (Lead – Local Government, PRIA, (PRIA) New Delhi) spoke in his statement are as follows:
- The impact of the second phase of Covid was first in Maharashtra, Punjab in the last March, as a result of which the central government banned all flights to Britain. Also, the impact was less in the villages as compared to the cities of the country. In this phase also, the reverse migration crisis of laborers can be seen once again. Apart from this, in view of the fierce form of the second phase, the states have issued guidelines for partial and complete lock down at their level.
- Further talking about the rural health system, Dr. Karoli said that the Ministry of Panchayati Raj needs to empower and enable the Panchayats by working strongly towards ensuring better availability of health infrastructure in all the villages of every state. There is also a need to give an advance role to various civil societies for community preparedness under state-centrally sponsored schemes and advisories.
- At the same time, there is a need for strategic linkages at the local level, so that the rights of the last person in the society can be addressed while reaching out to the local people.
- Referring to the 15th Finance Commission, he said that there is a provision of clear financial assistance for the primary and community health centers at the block level to get rid of the disease. In the same sequence, it is suggested that the state government, along with civil society, will have to be strengthened at the panchayat level for the preparations for the third wave of Covid.
- In order to prepare village, block and district health plans under the strategy of the third wave of Corona, there is an urgent need to work in harmony and trust with the government, civil society and other donor agencies.
At the last leg of the discussion, some recommendations and strategies were shared by the panellists point by point in view of the second phase of COVID. Dr. Sanjay Singh, while terming this discussion as succinct and diverse, mainly pointed out the ideas: 1. Communication and Liaison Strategies, 2. Collaboration and alliances of various stakeholders etc.
In the same sequence, Dr. Arjun Kumar of IMPRI team, advocating to work on one-time disaster management, also shared a question – “How to avoid quack and quack doctor in the state of Madhya Pradesh during this global pandemic”?
Under this, the role of civil society, the process of clear identification between rural and urban areas regarding vaccination, rural health and nutrition, development and financial allocation under the annual plan, etc. should be addressed in a holistic manner.
Panchayati Raj Institution
Shri Rishi Mishra briefly spoke about the role of Panchayat and the following points of financial decentralization, they are:
- Response: Resource allocation to Panchayati Raj Institutions for disaster response (increased joint fund),
- Risk Reduction: Deprivation of Panchayati Raj Institutions, adequate powers, financial decentralization of Panchayati Raj Institutions and
- Resilience: Promoting comprehensive and integrated village level health policy (local policy), PPC (public-private and community partnership initiatives).
In his closing remarks, Kazmi first shared the government’s latest guideline, clarifying the confusion surrounding vaccination of pregnant and lactating women by another speaker. Also, analyzing the various health protection schemes and services of the Government of India (Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana etc.) and health management system (Arogya-Setu) under their rural system – “From below Adopting the “Upward Approach”, advised the State Governments to work towards the development and upliftment of a new and healthy India and new generation.
At the same time, citing the seriousness of the governments of other countries (Germany, China, Australia and New Zealand) towards their new generation, he wished to envision a prosperous and healthy society at the national and state level as well.
Apart from this, under the rural system, various government socio-economic and monetary aids (PDS and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana etc.) Referring to the shortcomings in the context of this, suggested to make it more strong and public welfare.
Further, he added that various health workers engaged in COVID testing work (such as Anganwadi workers involved in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)) also face difficulties due to non-availability of Android phones during the survey. At the same time, there is a need to work towards the preparation of this second wave through community awareness and vigilance and public cooperation at the local level for rural health and sanitation.
Shri Rakesh Paliwal shares some thoughts, suggestions and points through his personal experiences while advocating for adopting a neo-liberal approach in the revival of rural society, justifying the relevance of Gandhi in the 21st century, they are as follows :
- Establishment of Model Village: By doing any construction work in the village on the strength of rural labour, the villagers inculcate a sense of moral importance and they are ready to protect those services throughout their life.
- In the present scenario, there is a need for scientific upgradation of Indian villages, while discussing the responsibility of social audit of NGOs and 14 points described in the direction of constructive program of rural development of Gandhi’s theory written in “Hind Swaraj”.
- Inevitability of solving the problems of the villagers in their local dialect or language.
- Example of corruption free village and village of Medha Lekha in Gadchiroli [Prevailing slogan: our government in Delhi and Bombay and we are the government in our village].
- Rural development in totality and the concept of corona-free village – better health and sanitation, proper food security, organic farming, drinking water supply, awareness campaign for covid appropriate behaviour, etc.
- Idea Exchange Approach – For overall development and sustainability of villages, we have to exchange ideas with villagers (on nature and diagnostics).
- Preparedness for Contingency- We have to prepare or strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions with strong will so that they can coordinate properly with other stakeholders.
The main recommendations made by Mrs Anjali Noronha were as follows:
- The urgent need to set up isolation centers at the village level and the challenges of home isolation.
- To have diversity in community strategies keeping in mind the second and third wave of Corona.
- In view of the spread of the second wave of Covid, all government guidelines and protocols of ICMR should be made available to the rural people as far as possible in their local dialect and language.
- Showing gratitude to the medical group or fraternity for their contribution and services, taking and giving help etc.
- Also, as part of policy decisions, foreseeing this global disaster in the third wave, emphasis on the process of vaccination. Apart from this, it would be preferable to allocate about 5% (recommended expenditure on GDP) in the national budget for health and medical infrastructure and for the appointment of medical staff. In the same sequence, a step wise strategy is suggested to make a strategy every 3 months for the next 1 year, etc.
At the end of the discussion, Dr. Sanjay Singh (Waterman, Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan, Bundelkhand) co-organizer of this panel discussion described this forum as a comprehensive discussion and the consensus reached by all the panelists on many issues and While appreciating other recommendations, it was implemented in both the states (Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) In order to deal with this global disaster, assuring to take it before the higher administrative officers of the state, wished for a strong, prosperous and healthy society and thanked everyone and described this event as completely meaningful.