Lockdown in a remote village - 'Bane or Boon'

Written By: / Articles / Monday, 31 May 2021 18:26

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By: Thanggoulal Khongsai


Ever since the coming of the Covid-19 Second wave, we are experiencing unprecedented death toll across India. Most of our daily commercial business activities have hit so hard that our economy becomes almost paralyzed, unemployment rate sky-rocketed, price of our daily commodities inflated, the close of our learning institutions gate, the daily business transaction becomes difficult and uncertainty of future amongst the youths; all these factors are highly surfacing across the state.
In the midst of this, there are certain sections of people who utilized the Lockdown situation and were able to translate many of their adversities into opportunity.
DISTRESS IN REMOTE VILLAGE
The ongoing Pandemic, the Wuhan virus, seems to be of no near-end as experts have suggested the coming of the third wave after this second wave.
This has caused another concern to people living in remote villages where their daily livelihoods Will be hard-hit.
With the imposing of Lockdown in the state, the village populace is facing many difficulties such as shopkeepers unable to import goods, hike in the prices of goods, difficulties in access to District HQ to avail their requirements, and most importantly, a lack of vaccination and awareness.
With no access to banks, the people are struggling to get cash into their hands. Thanks to PMKISAN, despite cash being credited in their respective account, the majority of them couldn’t even make usage of this as withdrawal of the amount is not feasible. Also, with the onset of this monsoon, many farmers are cautioned for cultivation as their dependency on fertilizer and pesticides/Insecticides are beyond their access. For this, one has to travel DHQ to meet their cultivation demands which lockdown has made it complex.
On the other hand, many of who were the returnee youths working outside the state in the various private sector are now finding difficulties in getting decent work in the state/village. Although life in the village may provide minimal opportunities to those looking for entrepreneurs, there are certain drawbacks that stop them to meet their dreams. The financial problem, lack of encouragement, lack of skill and training and most importantly, Govt reluctance to address their issues are some of the many factors.
CHALLENGES AND ISSUE
This pandemic has no distinction. Self-isolation and maintaining a social distance with masks is the only way to beat this pandemic, provided to be vaccinated in this situation. Even so, many of the village populace of all ages are still finding no way out to have their first dose vaccinated until today. Transportation, shortage of vaccine, lack of doctors, distance location of vaccination centre and lack of awareness over the vaccine are some of the issues pertaining to this...
Also, many youths in the village found a new way-out of this pandemic who begins working on it despite expecting the least positive output/earning in return and with or without minimal support from others for their work. Like this, many of them are also found to be switching into different farming activities and engage in a small business as well. Cultivation and plantation being the two most popular practices in village Manipur, many have also taken up these challenges. Practices like fruit Plantation and cultivation of organic vegetable products can be a potential for productivity and highly encouraged had govt or any concerned organizations take up the initiative to help these youths through support and supply during this pandemic.
Small scale farming like chicken, duck, piggery, fish, eel etc are also some of the other domains where many youths today are fascinated to take up, particularly when getting a decent job becomes a very huge challenge. Despite many wills to take up farming challenges, a large number of them landed to nowhere as their means to initiate the task become just a mere. It should be acknowledged that these talented young dynamic youths are the asset of the state whose efficiency needed to be awarded; be trained, skilled and be supported with financial, logistic and mental help. Their capacity must be build as these young minds are capable to contribute for the productivity of the state. The state should give them the chance to prove their efficiencies.
As the pandemic continues, education institutions remain shut. The prolonged holidays that began in March 2020 undermined the knowledge of many of these students. It is presumed that the majority of them will no longer have the courage to get back to class after having spent their lives away from school for so many days. This, in fact, may possibly hold more true to students who are from remote village areas where competition is far lacking as compared to town and city students. This will certainly create a knowledge divide and will be a misfortune for rural students.
Notwithstanding of all the odds posed out of this pandemic, many students who are in the mid of their preparation for various examinations, from Class X to Civil Services, somehow find themselves fortunate as they could give more extra effort in their preparations. However, as may not be the case of all, there are few who don’t want their exam schedule to delayed. It is inevitable given from the pandemic how the virus transmits, social gathering can’t be endorsed and therefore, the authority should arrange measure where the burden of examinations doesn’t lie with the students.
Conclusion
The pandemic has made almost everything paralyzed. It resulted in mental stress, rise in poverty and uncertainty for the future. It is a giant challenge for the authorities in power that adequate measures be taken in order to made ease of our livelihoods during this hour of unprecedented Pandemic.
Besides, though the narrative that rural villages are safer than urban areas, there shouldn’t be compromised over it as the virus doesn’t discriminate against anybody. Therefore, from vaccination drive to implementing welfare programes, economic support to imparting skill development, student issue to farmers needs; all these should be carried out fairly and implemented in pan-Manipur in an equitable manner. Otherwise, this pandemic could be a bane while it is a boon to other or vice versa.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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