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. Hira Lal (Indian Administrative Servant and Consultant, Model Village) were some of the other speakers during the discussion.
Ms. Neelam Verma (State Coordinator (Uttar Pradesh), Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) shared her views citing government policies and inaction as the main reason for the rise of the second wave of Covid by the State Government.
In the same sequence, during the recently held panchayat-elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, there was an increase in the death figures (increased death rate due to the obligation of teachers in the epidemic) in both rural and urban areas. At the same time, as a result there was an atmosphere of fear and a decrease in the spirit of social cooperation, distance from funeral rites etc.
The only reason in the village was found to be lack of awareness among the people, so in the course of preparation for the third phase, it became inevitable that dialogue should be established while doing community development in rural areas. In addition, villagers should be encouraged to vaccinate through community mobilization with the help of youth in villages.
In order to give real shape to these objectives, the state governments will have to work at the grass-root level in this disaster in coordination with various non-governmental organizations of the society, adopting community-based ideas by moving from their individual point of view.