In continuation with the ongoing discussions on the Rural Realities around the country, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi and Orissa Economics Association, Odisha organized a Panel Discussion on “Rural Realities | Odisha Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 15, 2021, as the second wave of coronavirus pandemic is engulfing the length and breadth of our country, India, and hitting the heartland of our country which is the rural areas.
Overview of the Condition of Odisha
Prof Bijayalaxmi Nanda, Acting Principal, Miranda House College, University of Delhi
The discussant of the session says that she was alarmed to observe the ground realities in Odisha because the information is not available in the mainstream media. An immediate response is needed not just in terms of discussion but also from the state. Digital inclusion has not happened in all the areas yet as young students have been left out of the loop in terms of education and community outreach.
She emphasized that there seems to have emerged “COVID-19 fatigue” to the government missionary as they are unable to understand what is happening in the fields. Hence, the government need to respond to the voices there. There’s not only vulnerability towards COVID-19 but also to a range of health issues.
Strategies needed to adopt to tackle the second wave of coronavirus
Prof Nanda says that a multistakeholder meeting should be held to set up a health and livelihood plan for short-term goals. For long-term objectives, a sustainable community health plan is required along with rural areas in mind. Mr Daniel says that saving lives and livelihood should be the priority of the government. New temporary medical quarantine centres should be set up. A decentralised approach is needed to reduce the distressing migration and to tackle this situation as well. MGNREGA should be merged with agriculture as well.