This panel discussion was related to the working experiences of various professionals especially in the wake of the second wave of COVID in Indian villages. It was organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and “Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi” on 20th May 2021 by the joint efforts of “Parmarth Sevi Sanstha” (Uttar Pradesh). This discussion was another episode of the “Panel Discussion” being organized by the institute for all the states of the country, whose central point should be the rural reality of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and the issues related to it.
This program was initiated by Ritika Gupta (Assistant Director) of “Institute of Impact and Policy Research”. Dr Simi Mehta (Chief Executive Officer and Editorial Director, Impact and Policy Research Institute) while preparing the background for this panel discussion, while welcoming all the visitors said that the goal of this is to find out by presenting a proper discussion. What is the present status of the second wave of COVID in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and what are the efforts being made at the ground level by various stakeholders in this regard?
The list of eminent panellists who mainly participated in this panel discussion is as follows- Dr Smt. F. Kazmi (Executive Director, NGO “Parvarish Child Development & Health Care Institute”), Dr Sanjay Singh (Waterman of Bundelkhand, Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Seva Sansthan), Dr Yogesh Kumar (Founder Member & Executive Director, Support – Development Assistance Centre), Shri Devi Das (Farmer MG, Support), Ms Abha Sharma (Director, Judav Foundation, Bhopal), Shri Bhupesh Tiwari (President, Fellow Social Service Organization, Chhattisgarh). Mr Rakesh Paliwal (Retd. Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) and Mrs Anjali Noronha (Fellow, Eklavya) and Dr Anshuman Karoli (Lead – Local Government, Priya, (PRIA) New Delhi) etc.
Further, Dr. Yogesh Kumar (Founder Member and Executive Director, Samarth – Development Assistance Centre) spoke while sharing the basic problems and aspects related to the second phase of the COVID pandemic in the state. He said that it is to be known that a large number of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (tribal majority areas) in both the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The population is inhabited and they have always been lagging behind in the order of general development, from this point of view also this global calamity seems to be an attack at the local and rural level.
In addition, there is a complete lack of trust infrastructure in rural areas in the wake of covid, due to which voluntary organizations are facing many challenges at the grassroots level in order to provide basic and useful support to the people. Also, in the rural areas of the states, home-isolation facilities and the protocol related to it are not being followed seriously due to lack of adequate and proper means, due to which this disaster took a formidable form, so it is also problematic for health workers. The topic is coming up.
Apart from this, Dr. Kumar informed that many such cases have also come to light in the state where the sole earning member has died and this has led to the problem of food and hunger along with financial crisis on the whole family, resulting in poverty. The situation has also happened. In the time of this calamity, the role of voluntary organizations has also been particularly visible – their work at the community level and medical and medical facilities in rural primary health centres and government hospitals etc.
By providing other personal help, a pleasant picture has been presented in the direction of the diligence of civil organizations etc. At the same time, he said that in this critical time, such organizations need to work with the State Governments, Health Departments etc., showing commitment at the Panchayat and local level.
Along with this, many issues related to Covid before the villagers – non-availability of medical facilities (non-availability of ambulance etc.) even at the district level, problems of farmers (related to Kharif crops, seeds etc.), suffering from Covid (earning a living apart from the deceased member) There is no one for this) the economic problem of the family, the concerns about the MGNREGA and cash income of the workers at the village level, etc. are prominently present.