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.
Shri Rishi Mishra (State Coordinator (Madhya Pradesh), Indo-Global Social Service Society) shared his views through a presentation on issues related to the current wave of COVID and suggestions for their solutions. He said – The increasing cases of Covid-infection have once again affected the industries and With the problem of reverse migration, people going back to their villages the problem of food, shelter and medical services and livelihood arose in the rural areas as a result of the halt of transport. Also, in this phase of Covid, the same form of destitution of the rural system was visible, whose brunt was suffered by the urban system last year.
Also, this wave saw several challenges at the village level of the states – inconclusive information, increased unscientific practices, inadequate testing and lack of medicine, poor health infrastructure, lack of disaster management plan at Panchayati Raj level etc.
Apart from this, in both the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, it is inevitable to have a scheme or a committee at the Panchayati level so that the above-mentioned problems can be addressed at the local level.
Further, sharing information about his organization (Indo-Global Social Service Society), he told about the reach of his action plans to about 210 villages in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Along with this, it also said that how we have determined some identified action plans in order to deal with the Covid crisis through our team, for example – Government Response Scheme to Youth Volunteers (Cash Support for Economic Empowerment) and NREGA Scheme Enabling to support households in availing benefits, the realization of preparedness for COVID Appropriate Practices (CAB) information dissemination through correct information dissemination, vaccination and testing center information, scheme benefit information etc.
Expressing his views on other issues, he said that we need to decide how to address the aspects of family concerns and psychology counselling by adopting the approach of positive divergence at the village level while facing this wave of covid.