This panel discussion was related to the working experiences of various professionals especially in the wake of the second wave of COVID in Indian villages. It was organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and “Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi” on 20th May 2021 by the joint efforts of “Parmarth Sevi Sanstha” (Uttar Pradesh). This discussion was another episode of the “Panel Discussion” being organized by the institute for all the states of the country, whose central point should be the rural reality of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the issues related to it.
This program was initiated by Ritika Gupta (Assistant Director) of “Institute of Impact and Policy Research”. Dr Simi Mehta (Chief Executive Officer and Editorial Director, Impact and Policy Research Institute) while preparing the background for this panel discussion, while welcoming all the visitors said that the goal of this is to find out by presenting a proper discussion. What is the present status of the second wave of COVID in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and what are the efforts being made at the ground level by various stakeholders in this regard?
The list of eminent panellists who mainly participated in this panel discussion is as follows- Dr Smt. F. Kazmi (Executive Director, NGO “Parvarish Child Development & Health Care Institute”), Dr Sanjay Singh (Waterman of Bundelkhand, Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Seva Sansthan), Dr Yogesh Kumar (Founder Member & Executive Director, Support – Development Assistance Centre), Shri Devi Das (Farmer MG, Support), Ms Abha Sharma (Director, Judav Foundation, Bhopal), Shri Bhupesh Tiwari (President, Fellow Social Service Organization, Chhattisgarh). Mr Rakesh Paliwal (Retd. Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) and Mrs Anjali Noronha (Fellow, Eklavya) and Dr Anshuman Karoli (Lead – Local Government, Priya, (PRIA) New Delhi) etc.
Anjali Noronha (Fellow, Eklavya) in the role of the talker, before giving her speech, remembering the eminent personality of the Indian medical world, Dr. Shekhar Agarwal, while paying a heartfelt tribute to it, calling it an irreparable loss to the medical system. Share your views advising to take this second phase of Covid seriously.
Also, while analyzing the realities of rural society, some of the major points discussed are –
1. Till the second wave of Covid did not come, there was an illusion in the rural society that this disease is limited only to the affluent and urban areas of the society, so they did not take precautions and the cases kept increasing.
2. The leaders of the country registered an increase in this global epidemic by gathering crowds during the election campaign, while this time should have been for its prevention and awareness.
3. In this phase, without doubting the aspect of disease carriers on the poor and domestic helpers, it is to be considered why the effect of corona in the rural system was very less even when a large number of migrant workers returned to the village last year.
So how did the coronavirus mutants take on such a lethal form in this stage, leading to a deterioration in the circumstances.
4. The new mutants of this coronavirus also hurt the urban system because proper covid prevention practices were not adopted – such as not wearing a mask properly, not following the instructions of social distance, vitamin-D deficiency due to use of air condition Due to which this flu-virus took a formidable form.
5. Apart from this, Covid infected persons also increased the cases due to their irresponsible behaviour. Along with this, there is also a need to cross-examine the actual figures of infection and mortality, taking care of aspects like proper testing, vaccination etc.
6. He talked about the confusion regarding vaccination for pregnant women due to the lack of vaccine-trial so far. Also, the sooner covid infected cases are identified on the basis of testing or symptoms, the more it will prove effective for health benefits.
7. Along with this, proper prevention of Covid has to be included in our daily life habitually, for this also the help of NGOs can be taken.
8. Further, he said that there is an urgent need to set up COVID quarantine centers instead of home-isolation. In this context, Mrs. Anjali Noronha expressed hope for more good work from the government department regarding the supply of basic facilities like bedsheets and other daily items in these centres. At the same time, describing the plight of several primary health centers in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh state, demanded from the government to revive them.
9. Lastly, there is a need for the various health workers of the state – ASHA and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) etc. to work together to tackle COVID by formulating collaborative plans with the youth of the community.