To discuss the ways to tackle the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in rural areas, and stressed Medical Facilities 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| Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand | Practitioner’s Experience in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages on May 17, 2021.
The esteemed panelists were Dr PC Negi, Professor and head, Department of Cardiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh; Renu Thakur, Secretary, Association of Rural planning and action, Askote, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand; Shankar Datt, Founder member and Treasurer, Shramyog, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; Dr Anil Jaggi, Founder, Venture, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Dr OP Bhuraita, Chairman, State resource centre, Himachal; Prof Sas Biswas, Professor and head, Department of Forestry, Dolphin Post graduate Institute of Biomedical and natural sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; Dr Jitender Kumar Mokta, Professor of Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical college and hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
Mr. Shankar Datt advised that there had been a sudden upsurge in rural areas. Isolating people who come from outside is a main problem as not enough space is available. Mr Shankar’s organization Shramyog has made 4-5 houses in 50-53 villages for isolating people who come from outside which is praiseworthy.
ASHA workers help has helped to build deep connect among the people in rural areas as their role in distributing oxy-meters, thermometers and creating awareness is very significant. Locals help is also very important during these hard times.
Taxi drivers’ database has been used for transportation purposes. It is important to note that there is a single source of water in rural areas and due to COVID’s stigma; access to water is also a major issue in the villages.
According to Mr Shankar, people are very closely knitted to each other in villages as a result when somebody dies; people can’t stop themselves to visit the deceased’s family to grieve the loss.
He also highlighted that there are very small things in villages which needs due consideration. People are also facing money crunch. There are many issues in rural areas, for instance, problems faced by pregnant women. Supply of medicines too is very crucial as there are not enough medical stores in rural areas.