To discuss the ways to tackle the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in rural areas, and stressed Medical Facilities the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi organized a Panel Discussion onRural Realities| Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand | Practitioner’s Experience in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages on May 17, 2021.
The esteemed panelists were Dr PC Negi, Professor and head, Department of Cardiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh; Renu Thakur, Secretary, Association of Rural planning and action, Askote, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand; Shankar Datt, Founder member and Treasurer, Shramyog, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; Dr Anil Jaggi, Founder, Venture, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Dr OP Bhuraita, Chairman, State resource centre, Himachal; Prof Sas Biswas, Professor and head, Department of Forestry, Dolphin Post graduate Institute of Biomedical and natural sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; Dr Jitender Kumar Mokta, Professor of Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical college and hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
Pandemic is a Result of Policy Lapses
Dr Anil Jaggi underlined that there are 1500 per day cases in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Migration is a huge issue in Uttarakhand, 2000 villages have been declared as ghost village because people are moving out for jobs and opportunities. Also infrastructure is very old in rural areas.
Dr. Anil expressed his disappointment over the fact that doctors perceive posting in rural areas as punishment posting and don’t want to work in remote areas. There is a problem of transportation in rural areas as there is a pertinent question of how people will come for treatment from rural to urban areas. 40 lakh people attended Kumb but only two lakh were tested, as a result many sadhus too died.
Dr. Anil further talked about “Uttarakhand Dialogue program” wherein administration is utilising corporate social responsibility funds of the companies. All stakeholders need to be involved. The core of the problem is that there are no clear guidelines and consortium by the government about the pandemic.
Governance part is totally missing. Initially, COVID-19 was perceived as a city disease by the rural people, hence they were not prepared for second wave. Coordination and synchronization is needed by the government. Resident welfare association are too working in combating COVID-19. Public private partnership can go a long way.
Decentralisation should be democratised. Dr. Anil Jaggi concluded by asserting that we need to break the inertia about the Pandemic to prepare rural areas and work towards developing an innovative mind-set.