The panel discussion on rural realities in Uttar Pradesh during the Covid-19 second wave highlighted the working experiences of various professionals especially in the wake of the second wave of COVID in Indian villages. It was organized by Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and of “Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi” on 19th May, 2021 by the joint efforts of “Parmarth Sevi Sanstha” (Uttar Pradesh).
The focal point of the discussion was the need to focus on the rural reality of the state of Uttar Pradesh and its related issues.
This program was initiated by Ritika Gupta (Assistant Director) of IMPRI Institute of Impact and Policy Research. Also, by Dr Simi Mehta, who while welcoming the panelists, said that the goal of this is a comprehensive discussion on the situation of second wave of COVID in the state of Uttar Pradesh and the efforts being made at the ground level by the stakeholders.
Prof. Amita Singh (Chairman, NAPSIPAG Center for Disaster Research, Delhi, Retd., Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)) took over the conduct of this forum, acting as a moderator. Other eminent panelists included Khalid Choudhary ( Regional Manager, (Uttar Pradesh), Action Aid India, Neelam Verma (State Coordinator (Uttar Pradesh), Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS)), Vivek Awasthi (Executive Director, U.P. Volunteer Health Association).
Dr. Sanjay Singh (Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan, Jhansi), Lenin Raghuvanshi (Founder and CEO, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi), Saurabh Lal (CEO, Model Village), Saurabh Singh (Chief) Functionary, Inner Voice Foundation Community Arsenic Mitigation and Research Organization (CAMRO), Sandeep Abasaheb Chavan (Project Lead, Tata Trusts, Gorakhpur, Homoeopathic Doctor, Public Health Professional), Dr Heera Lal (Indian Administrative Servant and Consultant, Model Village) were some of the other speakers during the discussion.
Subsidies and Financial Assistance During Second Wave
Dr. Hira Lal (Indian Administrative Servant and Adviser, Model Village) emphasized on the priorities of the rural areas of the state, not talking much about the horrors and other aspects of COVID.
He said that the concern of the government at this time is to get rid of the problem of hunger by giving financial assistance (1000 rupees and farmer money etc.) to the poor sections of the society (urgent to pay attention to food more than medicine).
At the same time, emphasizing on two points, he said that in this second wave of Covid, saving the poor class from the economic crisis and public participation of all the stakeholders of the society is needed in this direction.
Further, Dr Lal, referring to the reduction of the second wave on the basis of data and information, said that now preparations should be made in view of the third wave of Covid so that the loss remains zero.
Apart from this, citing the concept of model village, he concluded his talks by stating the need for public participation and supportive dialogue of various community organizations etc., keeping the talk of empowering Indian rural population.