While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world alike, its impact on people from disparate socio-economic standings has been unequal. Keeping in line with this and in continuation of the rural realities webinar series, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI) in collaboration with Centre for Development Communication and Studies (CDECS), Jaipur and Tarun Bharat Sangh, Alwar organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities Health Security through Community- centered Approaches COVID-19 and Beyond- Rajasthan” on May 13th, 2021.
The IMPRI team informed the discussion by locating for the event participants the situation of COVID 19 in India and Rajasthan. The team also provided an insight into the geography and socio-economic conditions of the state. The rationale was to provide the participants with an overview of the state of Rajasthan.
Dr. Rajiv Gupta, Former Head and Professor, Dept. of the Sociology University of Rajasthan; Advisor, CDECS, Jaipur believes that the second wave of the pandemic is different from the first one, in a way that it is system-created, especially the government-related systems.
Impact of Systemic and Cultural Deficiencies
The rural population was severely impacted by the reverse migration in the first wave, in a limited manner however and Kumbhmela returnees in the second. This devastation has not been quantified due to the lack of data.
RT-PCR and Antigen tests, along with vaccines have to penetrate into the villages. This has not been done yet, favoring urban areas for development and taking advantage of the powerlessness of the rural population. Dr. Gupta made a firm suggestion of building multiple mobile groups out of community-based organizations, civil societies, and medical staff.