And for another Friday, as Chinese Virus challenges life, livelihood and social aspirations, some thoughts….. some hopes…..
Complexities thrown up by Covid in a Continent called India is unimaginable. At one end is Kerala with almost European standards of literacy and Human living Index and other end are states like Bihar and Eastern UP with most under developed Medical infrastructure. Transversed in between are Maharashtra, Andhra, Karnataka etc. etc. But the social aspirations and dreams are the same, particularly for the lower middle classes and those just scrapping out of Poverty. Every Parent wants their child to go to an English medium school. From Punjab to Maharashtra, Andhra and Kerala, small farmers, factory workers and even labourers are sacrificing all their wants to pay 500 to 1000 rs monthly fees to Pvt schools. Now Covid has challenged them with online classes. All are taking loans, beg, borrow, but get mobiles, tablets, TVs to continue their kids education. Interestingly there is now a Supreme Court case hearing the challenge to AP Govt who want to shift all Govt schools from Telugu to English medium from April 2020. India’s unique contradictions and problems.
Given the very infectious nature of Covid, with a population of 1300 million plus, India is now undertaking more than a million tests per day. Our statistics will no doubt scare “outsiders” but not Indians. We are used to finding our own solutions. Life and livelihood has to coexist. Lockdowns are no more valid control measures. As Kerala Chief Secretary, Dr. Vishwas Mehta informs with graphs and facts, the state is now prepared to combat Community spread. Police can no longer enforce total statewide restrictions. Society has to take care of itself. Aggregate statistics need differential approach for Community spread – multiple preparations at different levels of crisis management, focus on preventing mortalities and micro planning at a given ward, panchayat or Colony level is needed. District administrations have to be empowered to handle all eventualities. Covid hospitals, stage 1, 2 and 3 Fever clinics, adequate Home quarantine, safety messaging etc. etc. are all needed to save lives. Must and will be done across India – my request. Livelihood cannot be stopped, the Economy must move on. We are a developing Nation. No one will help us. We need to manage life and livelihood.
It’s easy to be prescriptive and advise what our PM or CM or DM must do. But time now to ask what each one of us are doing. Can we support NGOs like Doctors 4U and other NGOs in neighbourhood, partake in helping the needy within our own Sphere of influence, help our support staff financially to combat the crisis? Let’s fight the community spread, take all precautions – masking, distancing, washing, the safe way, the involved way, the SEEGOS way.