In continuation with the ongoing discussions on the Rural Realities in Indian states, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a Panel Discussion on “Rural Realities | Goa| Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 28, 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.
Giving a snapshot of socio economic condition of Goa and current pandemic situation in the Union Territory a presentation was given by IMPRI researchers Swati Solanki and Mahima Kapoor. They informed the participants about the state’s geographical and socio-economic status and gave insight into the situation of COVID-19 in India and Goa, highlighting pertinent emerging issues.
Goa’s battle with COVID: From bad to worse
Mr. Kumar Kalanand Mani, President, Peaceful Society, Goa, said that it is very sad and painful to see that beautiful Goa not only in terms of nature but in terms of society, people and governance also is ruined.
Seeing the intercourse of fourteen months of imprisonment in the name of COVID management he said that he has not seen any government officials approaching people or organizations for offering help or creating awareness about the pandemic. There exists total absence of governance and management of Covid-19 in the state.
There exist two different scenarios of what is happening in the hospitals and what is happening on the grass root level. Elucidating his point further he stated that first phase of the pandemic had very little impact on the state where as the second phase is spreading like a fire. There is very serious community spread of the pandemic with no actions taken from the government side to reach people.
The plight of helpless families in rural areas is a common scenario in the state with no support given from the government. The state should look into providing livelihood facilities to the poor families during time of pandemic. He highlighted the fact that scenario at village level is extremely bad in the state.
He concluding by emphasizing that there exist a condition of no community, no panchayat, no health and no government support for the vulnerable sections of the state.
In conclusion, he stated the fact that there exist no package and relief for rural poor, small farmers and workers surviving on daily wages Mr. Kumar said that the situation is worse. The horticulture sector is badly affected which is impacting the life of the rural poor which needs to be looked upon. Also the livelihood issues faced by the rural sector needs to be take in to consideration. Thus, more focus needs to be given on issue of impact of COVID on rural people.
He further stated immediate actions to be taken are mass testing of COVID cases, arrangement of proper isolation facilities for poor, proper follow up of COVID positive and post COVID cases, activation of public distribution systems. The health system must be strengthen to cope up with any kind of pandemic today and tomorrow.