While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world alike, its impact on people from disparate socio-economic standings has been unequal. Keeping in line with this and in continuation of the rural realities webinar series, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI) in collaboration with Centre for Development Communication and Studies (CDECS), Jaipur and Tarun Bharat Sangh, Alwar organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities Health Security through Community- centered Approaches COVID-19 and Beyond- Rajasthan” on May 13th, 2021.
The IMPRI team gave a brief presentation in order to provide an overview of the state of Rajasthan. 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 Rajasthan, highlighting pertinent emerging issues.
Ms. Maya Vishwakarma, Founder, Sukarma Foundation, Madhya Pradesh drew a comparison between healthcare facilities and social institutions of Madhya Pradesh and America. Further, she envisioned tele-medicine primary health center, even before the pandemic, through her foundation, especially in the backward regions lacking infrastructure and political connections. She mentioned that the women population of the village is becoming increasingly educated and how they can be employed as volunteers for these centres.
Ms. Maya Vishwakarma highlighted that Political unwillingness to collect data has been a major hurdle.
Some cultural values that hold rural communities together turned out to be inconsistent with COVID-19 guidelines. They also worked towards establishing isolation beds for early treatment, supplying medicines, and tracing contacts.