The panel discussion on rural realities in Uttar Pradesh during the Covid-19 second wave highlighted the working experiences of various professionals especially in the wake of the second wave of COVID in Indian villages and what approach needs to be taken. It was organized by Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and of “Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi” on 19th May, 2021 by the joint efforts of “Parmarth Sevi Sanstha” (Uttar Pradesh).
The focal point of the discussion was the need to focus on the rural reality of the state of Uttar Pradesh, its related issues and what approach they need to take.
This program was initiated by Ritika Gupta (Assistant Director) of IMPRI Institute of Impact and Policy Research. Also, by Dr Simi Mehta, who while welcoming the panelists, said that the goal of this is a comprehensive discussion on the situation of second wave of COVID in the state of Uttar Pradesh and the efforts and approach being made at the ground level by the stakeholders.
Prof. Amita Singh (Chairman, NAPSIPAG Center for Disaster Research, Delhi, Retd., Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)) took over the conduct of this forum, acting as a moderator. Other eminent panelists included Khalid Choudhary ( Regional Manager, (Uttar Pradesh), Action Aid India, Neelam Verma (State Coordinator (Uttar Pradesh), Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS)), Vivek Awasthi (Executive Director, U.P. Volunteer Health Association).
Dr. Sanjay Singh (Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan, Jhansi), Lenin Raghuvanshi (Founder and CEO, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi), Saurabh Lal (CEO, Model Village), Saurabh Singh (Chief) Functionary, Inner Voice Foundation Community Arsenic Mitigation and Research Organization (CAMRO),Sandeep Abasaheb Chavan (Project Lead, Tata Trusts, Gorakhpur, Homoeopathic Doctor, Public Health Professional), Dr. Hira Lal (Indian Administrative Servant and Consultant, Model Village) were some of the other speakers during the discussion.
Mr. Vivek Awasthi (Executive Director, UP Volunteer Health Association) shared his personal experiences related to Covid, agreeing with the views of all the other panelists.
He also accepted that the first objective of the government is the welfare of the people, so the foundation of the success of the democratic system rests on this that the governments should move in this direction with the help of civil society services etc.
The horrors of Covid that prevailed in the villages of the state have completely affected normal life and life, exposing the helplessness of the government even once. Also, this second phase of COVID has taken a dig at the weaknesses of the “top-down approach” of administrative policies.
Therefore, there is a need for all civil institutions to work together towards further strengthening the government commitment, in this context, there is a need to give recognition and respect to such institutions by providing government financial assistance.