In continuation with the ongoing discussions on the Rural Realities around the country, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi and Orissa Economics Association, Odisha organised a Panel Discussion on “Rural Realities | Odisha Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 15, 2021, as the second wave of coronavirus pandemic is engulfing the length and breadth of our country, India, and hitting the heartland of our country which is the rural areas.
Mr Malay Padhan, Director-Programmes, Patang, Sambalpur, begins by talking about the young people, below 45, who are getting the most affected during the second wave. We are undermining the young people who stay in the rural areas as some ASHA workers said that in whichever house, they are going for a checkup session, most of the houses had covid patients. But the data shows something else, which is lesser than the actual number of cases.
To worsen the situation, in most of the blocks the beds in the temporary medical centres are not working. People in certain remote blocks are even travelling to 40-50kms to get the basic medical facilities. Though Anganwadi workers are going for regular check-ups, people are unable to get the right amount of nutrition for their sick body and even more, so it is affecting pregnant and lactating women. He further says that since the harvesting period is delayed, it is creating a burden on the farmers as they are unable to earn any income and pay off their debts.
Mr Padhan said that psychological support is needed to be given to the young masses. Cash should be advanced to the people in the village areas who are unable to earn income. Basic medical necessities such as thermometer, medicines should be provided door-to-door to the most vulnerable people.