As the second wave of covid rages across our country and society, engulfing the rural spaces of India, IMPRI has been organizing state-wise discussion to discuss practitioners experiences in tackling the second wave concerning rural realities. Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities | Punjab and Haryana Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on 19 May 2021.
The Team at IMPRI initiated the discussion by contextualizing the condition of Punjab and Haryana. Through an audio-visual presentation, the geographic location, socio-economic indicators, the state of the pandemic and emerging issues of both states were laid out in front of the audience.
Baljinder Singh Saini: Regional Manager, Tata Trusts elaborated upon the increased virulence of covid and how in rural regions, the real issue is of lack of manpower. He especially emphasized the rural mindset about covid wherein there is fear among the communities and hesitancy to get tested.
He further indicated that voluntary organizations coming together is a resource to be tapped into, and their strength in numbers can be utilized to combat the crisis.
Mr Baljinder Saini stressed diverting our efforts to certain aspects such as testing and village screenings should be strategically prepared to manage the third wave. He also mentioned that the efficiency of systems depends upon many factors.
Especially in the vaccination process, the system has to be prepared to accept foreign vaccines and ensure that the maximum population gets vaccinated. Additionally, he implored that governments should take maximum efforts to censure prominent personalities spreading superstitions or information not backed by science.