A Key Arsenal in Rural India’s Pandemic Fight

Sonu Bal . April 9, 2020

With migrant labour back in their hometowns, gram panchayats can strengthen containment measures in the interiors

If you build a fortress to strengthen your defences against an enemy, what is of importance is the strength of its walls. The issue of space or comfort within the fortress is the last question one may dare to ask or even think about, apart from the minimum supplies required for sustenance. But what if the enemy is a virus?

With the ongoing war against COVID-19, it is the exact opposite which needs equal if not greater attention — the state of preparedness within the fortress. Yes. With the ubiquitous 21-day national lockdown unprecedented in the history of independent India, stronger and harsher than anywhere else in the world, the interiors within the boundaries need attention.

Ground realities

Interestingly, every village is in itself a fortress during these difficult times and every village needs attention within. With the influx of thousands of migrant labourers into their villages, there is an imminent need to isolate them for at least 14 days. Unfortunately, the houses here, which are often one or two-room dwellings, with an average seven family members to accommodate, are some of the worst places where one can hope to contain the deadly disease. Along with the absence of running water within households, the possibility of common points in village arenas becoming hotspots for this deadly contagion becomes manifold.

Source: The Hindu

Sonubal I.V.

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