In continuation with the ongoing discussions on the Rural Realities during the pandemic around the country, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities | North East Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 16, 2021.
The IMPRI team informed the discussion by locating for the event participants the situation of COVID 19 in India and North East. The team also provided an insight into the geography and Socio economic conditions of the region. The rationale was to provide the participants with an overview of the North Eastern region.
In the introductory remarks, Dr Simi Mehta, CEO & Editorial Director of IMPRI, spoke on the necessity to discuss the way rural practitioners and population were coping with the pandemic. Moreover, there was a need to focus on the way forward in tackling the pandemic.
Tirtha Prasad Saikia, Joint Director of North East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS), Assam. Mr. Tirtha spoke on the importance of undertaking a needs-based assessment of different communities. He stated that the pandemic was creating secondary disasters such as: psycho-social car, malnutrition, food insecurity and domestic violence.
Further, he highlighted the risk of floods that Assam was prone to; and the immediate need to effectively manage and plan for these floods that reel the state from June-September.
As far as the vaccination program was concerned, Mr Saikia spoke about the relevance of the pulse-polio program, and how the government could devise similar strategies to ensure that vaccinations reach each and every community.