Villagers show the way, win accolades in fight against COVID-19

NEW DELHI: Amid a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, residents of a number of villages across India have emerged as role models and earned accolades for strictly following government guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.

The poor in these villages have been ensured food while houses and streets and bylanes sanitised to keep the residents out of the harm’s way. Every villager has been provided face masks and sanitisers by their respective panchayat heads.

Even weekly or daily local markets are allowed to function to ensure uninterrupted income for the vulnerable sections, albeit with strict observance of the physical distancing norms.

Due to these commendable activities, these villages have earned praise even from the Panchayati Raj Ministry.

Take the case of Makkasar village in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, where residents carry out sanitisation exercise daily by spraying sodium hydrochloride solution. The villagers have been provided face masks and sanitisers while the owners of dairy cattle have been provided fodder.

Many villages in Katak, Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak districts of Odisha have also ensured activities on similar lines. Each poor family in Bhandaripokhri village has been given ration worth Rs 1,000 each to tide over the crisis.

Villages in Sadar development block have even roped in the fire brigade to sanitise their respective areas.

In Bhadrak district, local agricultural markets have been allowed to operate to help vegetable growers, again by following physical distancing norms.

Heads of villages in Bamta development block in Bilaspur have not only ensured sanitisation of schools, temples, and village houses etc, but also provided ration items to migrant labourers.

Villagers in Sonal in North Goa have deployed a group of youths to keep a vigil on its outskirts to prevent the residents from venturing out. Also, essentials are being provided to the villagers at their doorsteps.

The panchayat head of the Bhatkal seashore in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka has got sealed the area borders.

Villagers have taken up door-to-door sanitisation in Vadkakkipalayam village in Tamil Nadu whereas Sinhvasini gram panchayat in Bihar near the India-Nepal border has sealed off the village and painted or written slogans on walls of houses etc to make residents aware of the coronavirus pandemic and do’s and don’ts to prevent its spread.

(Navneet Mishra can be contacted at