Samarthan-Center for Development Support is a leading non-profit organisation working in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since 1995. They believe that good governance is foundation for sustained and equitable development and effective participation by all stakeholders, especially the marginalised, socially excluded and disadvantaged groups, is necessary for promoting good governance. Samarthan strives to address the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment through strengthening the grassroots civil society groups.
Field workers and volunteers of Samarthan collected information on COVID for the period of 15 March-31 April, 2021 from 624 villages of 12 districts(473 MP and 151 CG).The Panchayat representatives and field functionaries-ANM, ASHA and Anganwari-provided data that was validated from the community.
Per 1000 population,there were 5 confirmed cases and 14 untested symptomatic cases during the survey period. Average number of officially recorded positive cases, per 1000 population for the same period was 1 for MP,4 for CG and 2 for combined MP and CG. Based on the surveyed data ,it is estimated that about 10 lakh rural people would have been COVID affected during 15 March-31,April, 2021 in MP and CG 90% of the villages reported either confirmed positive cases or untested cases with symptoms similar to COVID, in surveyed villages.
More tests were conducted in CG as 87.4% villages had confirmed positive cases compared to only 57.3% in MP. On an average 24 people per village were having COVID like symptoms but not tested, in total number of villages surveyed in MP and CG combined. In MP,there were 28 and CG 15 cases per village with symptoms, that were not tested. In MP 6 confirmed positive cases were found compared to 19 cases in CG,per village.
There was a higher number of deaths in rural areas in the peak of second wave of COVID. During the survey period, combined data of MP and CG showed, that only 2 out of the total 15 deaths(per 10,000 rural population)were reported as COVID deaths. Based on average crude death rate(rural)in 2016,there were 5 more deaths than normal in MP and CG combined.Therefore, about 36,000 additional deaths might have taken place in rural areas,through 15 March-31 April,2021 in these states together.