Utthan is vaccinated - take your jab!
The second wave of Covid in India has magnified the impact on rural communities.
Those who had barely started tying some threads are once again faced with a situation, more complex than before. With our experience of response in the first wave, our team has already initiated efforts with community leaders & institutions, Panchayats and Government.
Utthan switched to a mix of at-office work from home since the last 20 days approximately but since last 10 days we have moved totally to working from home, with some exceptions. (We currently have 4 active Covid cases amongst a team of 29. Till date, 7 members have recovered from Covid.) Our first steps have been to talk to community leaders about the local situation which brings out that the despair and dismal situation in rural Gujarat is shocking and disturbing.
- Several active Covid cases in each village level now
- Poor awareness, information and behaviour on do’s and don’ts for prevention (poor usage of masks, lack of distancing, myths/resistance to vaccination) and in the case of dealing with positive cases
- Health infrastructure finding it very difficult to meet needs – information dissemination, testing kits not available, oxygen supply at Primary Health Centre level negligible, beds
- Return of migrants from cities to villages
- Lack of plan at Gram Panchayat level esp. due to lack of information, not much quarantining of the returning population
- APMCs are closed, a lot of distress sale of harvest has already started.
- Rumours that NREGA work will not be accessible - important to provide livelihood esp. pre monsoons
- Many villages have announced half day voluntary lock down. Several are not allowing nonresidents in. There is night curfew everywhere in Gujarat, the entire Dahod district has curfew from 4pm- 6am. Bhavnagar district has laid down several conditions on mobility.
Our team and capacitated community leaders have made several endearing efforts in personal capacity. Locally, community leaders, caste/religious groups, Panchayats etc. have also taken some steps. We have done a quick survey of 100 villages and are seeing that the very first need is
- to prevent spread by stepping up awareness on covid appropriate behaviour
- to provide safety equipment & instruments at village level
- to support Gram Panchayats (local self governance unit) to put Village Isolation centres into action
- training of village cadre to organise and roll out this effort