To discuss the ways to tackle the spread of the second wave of pandemic in rural areas, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi organized a Panel Discussion on “Rural Realities | Karnataka Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave” on May 21, 2021.
The esteemed panelists were Dr. Basavaraju R Shreshta, Executive Director, Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement (GRAAM), Mysore. Dr. Priya Shanmugam, Faculty, Department of Economics, Mount Carmel College Autonomous, Bengaluru. Mr. Leo Saldanha, Founding Trustee and Coordinator, Environment Support Group, Bengaluru.
Mr. Nitesh Kumar Jangir, Co-Founder, Coeo Labs Pvt. Ltd. (An InnAccel Division), Bengaluru. Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, Associate Professor, Public Health, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College, The University of Arizona. Dr. Nazrul Haque, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. Dr. M R Seetharam, Consultant Orthopedic surgeon, Vivekananda Memorial Hospital; Core Member, SVYM and Dr. Jyotsna Jha, Director, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS), Bengaluru as the discussant.
The moderator of the session was Prof Krishna Raj, Professor, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.
Panchayat Role During Pandemic
Dr. Nazrul Haque is part of Azim Premji Foundation and as a result is working with BBMP and seven panchayats. According to him, following points are important to note:
- Panchayats have formed COVID task forces
- Disseminating information in a simpler way
- Women panchayat heads are more sympathetic and responsive
- Safety materials for frontline workers
- No second line staff to support front line doctors
- Less vaccine hesitancy due to pro active role of Panchayat