To discuss the ways to tackle the spread of the second wave of pandemic in rural areas, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi organized a Panel Discussion on “Rural Realities | Karnataka Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave” on May 21, 2021.
The esteemed panelists were Dr. Basavaraju R Shreshta, Executive Director, Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement (GRAAM), Mysore. Dr. Priya Shanmugam, Faculty, Department of Economics, Mount Carmel College Autonomous, Bengaluru. Mr. Leo Saldanha, Founding Trustee and Coordinator, Environment Support Group, Bengaluru.
Mr. Nitesh Kumar Jangir, Co-Founder, Coeo Labs Pvt. Ltd. (An InnAccel Division), Bengaluru. Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, Associate Professor, Public Health, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College, The University of Arizona. Dr. Nazrul Haque, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. Dr. M R Seetharam, Consultant Orthopedic surgeon, Vivekananda Memorial Hospital; Core Member, SVYM and Dr. Jyotsna Jha, Director, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS), Bengaluru as the discussant.
The moderator of the session was Prof Krishna Raj, Professor, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.
Digitalization and Communication
Dr. Purnima Madhivanan highlighted that Vaccine shortage is a huge issue. 550 Million people in India use noble mobiles and therefore can’t register for vaccine slots. It will take three years to vaccinate people at the current rate of vaccination.
Digitalization has added a new layer of exclusion. Policies are changing quickly reflective of flaws in the planning process. Short term perspective needs to be done away with and Sustained public health policy needs to be focused upon.
The pandemics and epidemics are predictable, they occur within a span of 30-40 years. We should focus on evidence and science. It is a public health situation. Crisis communication has to be adopted as Government has to be accurate as it is critical for credibility. Empathy and respect towards people is very important during this unprecedented situation.
Neurological disorders in old, People with disabilities, concerns of indigenous people, Mental health, collective trauma (PTSD) etc. are the challenges before us. It is a shared tragedy. We will take time to heal. Reach out and support mechanisms need to be strengthened.