In continuation with the ongoing discussions on the Rural Realities during the pandemic around the country, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities | North East Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 16, 2021.
The IMPRI team informed the discussion by locating for the event participants the situation of COVID 19 in India and North East. The team also provided an insight into the geography and Socio economic conditions of the region. The rationale was to provide the participants with an overview of the North Eastern region.
In the introductory remarks, Dr Simi Mehta, CEO & Editorial Director of IMPRI, spoke on the necessity to discuss the way rural practitioners and population were coping with the pandemic. Moreover, there was a need to focus on the way forward in tackling the pandemic.
Discussants: Grassroot Governance
Christopher Lun, Secretary, Goodwill Foundation, Aizawl discussed the situation prevalent in Mizoram. He discussed the efforts made by civil society organizations such as Young Mizos Association and the church in aiding the government. He brought to notice the local-level task forces that had been created to tackle the pandemic in both, rural and urban areas. These task-forces comprised of local civil society organizations rooting the approach of the state in grassroots governance.
Concluding Remarks and Q & A
Posing a question to Mr Christopher Lun, Mr. Indrajit Pathak wanted to inquire whether high literacy rates was the primary reason behind low COVID case fatalities in Mizoram. Elaborating on the local-level task force, Mr. Lun replied that the grass roots membership of these task forces that came to the aid of the local people. Each locality had a specific local level task force chaired by the local councilor and vice chaired by the leader of the Young Mizos Association. These taskforces directly coordinated with the District Disaster Management Authorities and other state agencies.
These local task forces were responsible for contact tracing and setting up COVID -care community centers. Such de-centralized approach to pandemic management proved to be effective across all eco-geographic localities of Mizoram.